Jose Mourinho was sacked as the manager of Chelsea on Thursday, the club confirmed in a statement.
The Portuguese was relieved of his duties seven months after he led the West London outfit to the Premier League title. The 52-year-old took charge in June 2013, his second spell with the club.
Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent. https://t.co/YYJaxxdE36— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 17, 2015
Despite winning the league, the Blues have endured a difficult start to the season, losing nine of their opening 16 league games, including a 2-1 defeat at leaders Leicester City on Monday. The team currently sits just one point above the relegation zone.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could be forced to pay Mourinho more than £40million in compensation, after the manager signed a four-year deal this summer. This is the second time Mourinho has been forced out of Stamford Bridge. His hugely successful first spell with the club ended under a cloud in 2007.
Speaking after the Leicester defeat, Mourinho said he felt "betrayed" by his players. "Sometimes I find myself thinking last season I did an amazing job, brought players to a level not their level," he said. "If this is true I brought to such a level they couldn't keep for more than super-motivation to be leading. That is one possibility."
Chelsea confirmed the sacking on Thursday morning, releasing a club statement thanking the Portuguese for his "immense contribution." Here's the statement in full:
Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent.
All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.
His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history. But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.
The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.
The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential.
There will be no further comment until a new appointment is made.
According to reports, Dutch coach Guus Hiddink has been lined up as Jose Mourinho's replacement at least until the end of the season.
60% - Jose Mourinho's second spell in charge of Chelsea yielded a 60% Premier League win rate, compared to 71% during his first spell. Dip.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 17, 2015
How can you sack Mourinho? If his success doesn't buy time then no one is safe. #TheSpecialOne 🙌🏻— Glenn Murray (@GM_83) December 17, 2015
I understand #Mourinho sacked at 2pm by Bruce Buck and Eugene Tenenbaum and the actual sacking took 10 mins.— Jim White (@JimWhite) December 17, 2015
Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Chelsea - his PL Record:
P92 W55 D19 L18 Win% 60%
P212 W140 D44 L28 Win% 66%— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 17, 2015
Whoever you support, however much you love or hate him, it has to be said that the PL simply won't be the same without Jose Mourinho.— c o b i♚ (@cobibudge__) December 17, 2015
Mourinho sacked...he was taking training this am and was planning to take presser tomorrow so must have come as a bit of shock to even him— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) December 17, 2015
Player power wins at chelsea again...the difference is many of these players are more responsible than Mourinho for what's gone wrong— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) December 17, 2015