The editor of the Reading Chronicle has been fired over a front page story which appeared to link Hillsborough with hooliganism.
The ECHO understands Maurice O'Brien told friends he was sacked and could yet appeal against the decision.
However, the newspaper's publishers refused to confirm he had been dismissed.
Staff at the Chronicle were informed yesterday the editor was leaving the company following an internal investigation.
Mr O'Brien was suspended last week after running the article, which also carried allegations about Reading FC and their supporters, on Thursday, May 20.
Reading FC suspended their relationship with the newspaper over the story and the following day publishers Berkshire Media Group issued an "unreserved apology" for the Hillsborough remark.
Last Thursday the newspaper carried a front page apology for the article.
Keith McIntyre, managing director of Berkshire Media Group, said: "I issued a statement last night to staff letting them know that Maurice has left the company."
When asked whether Mr O'Brien had been fired or if he resigned from the role, Mr McIntyre said "no comment".
The Attorney General's Office launched an investigation into complaints the newspaper had broken the Contempt of Court Act by running the controversial article ahead of new inquests into the tragedy, but Dominic Grieve’s office decided not to take action against the Chronicle.
Margaret Aspinall, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, described the front page as an "absolute disgrace", while Sheila Coleman, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, called for action to be taken against the newspaper.
Both Mr Grieve and coroner Lord Justice Goldring had warned about the risk of publishing material which could “create a substantial risk that the course of justice in the inquests may be seriously impeded or prejudiced, particularly as this inquest involves a jury”.
However, the Attorney General concluded the story - "however ill-judged" - had not met this legal test.
Mr O' Brien had run the newsdesk at the Chronicle since 1997 and was promoted to the position of editor earlier this year, at the age of 64.
The Lord Justice Taylor Report in 1991 and the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report of 2012 both concluded hooliganism did not play any part in tragedy, which led to the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/reading-chronicle-editor-leaves-paper-6921152