Chelsea Football Club have today confirmed that Jose Mourinho has been released from his contract as their manager, just seven months after they won the Premier League title under his leadership.
The 52 year old Portuguese has gone from being the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ to an ‘Unemployed One’ after the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich decided enough was enough. The Blues have endured a torrid start to the new campaign, losing nine of their opening sixteen league games and getting knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke City.
Mourinho enjoyed a strong second season at Stamford Bridge when he won the Premier League and the League Cup during his second spell at the club. He returned in 2013 after spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid and was rewarded for his success last season with a new four year contract in August of this year.
Chelsea released a statement about the situation today which said, “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”.
Alan Shearer, a pundit for the BBC’s Match Of The Day, said he was ‘shocked but not surprised’ by Chelsea’s decision to remove Mourinho from his position, especially as their form has been so poor this season. He told BBC Radio 5 live, “I’ve never known a capitulation like it from a football club,” the former England captain told BBC Radio 5 live. I have never known players to perform like they did last season and then be so bad now. It’s unprecedented”.
The Blues are gearing up to play Sunderland at the weekend in the knowledge that, given they are only one point above the bottom three in the Premier League, a loss combined with a win for Norwich City at Manchester United would see them drop into the relegation places. Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce said, “I am shocked to say the least…They must already have somebody lined up to have done it now. I’m sad to see Jose go because I got to know him quite well and he’s a great manager with great character. He’s a loss to the Premier League”.
Although it’s believed that Roman Abramovich wanted to give him time to turn things around after the club’s appalling start to the campaign, it is understood that it is Mourinho’s disintegrating relationship with his players that has caused the Russian to call time on the Portuguese’s second managerial reign at the club. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown seemed to confirm the failing relations between manager and players when he said, “It has imploded in front of our eyes. It is astonishing. I saw players who were not giving everything. There is no trust there, respect is gone. Ultimately it is easier to change a manager than 22 players”.
The defending Premier League champions are currently 20 points behind the league leaders Leicester City after they lost 2-1 to the Foxes at The King Power Stadium on Monday night. The situation means that the Blues will struggle to finish in the Champion’s League places, with their only hope of appearing in the competition next year seeming to be to win the competition outright, something that is possible thanks to their qualification to the last 16 after a 2-0 win over Mourinho’s old club Porto.
Mourinho remains Chelsea’s most successful ever manager, having won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup on three occasions. Both of his spells at the London club have been riddled with controversy, however, with his most recent season starting off with a fallout with his medical team.
Mourinho avoided an FA rap after saying the club doctor, Eva Carneiro, and the physio, Jon Fearn, were ‘naive’ for running on to the pitch to treat the Chelsea winger Eden Hazard during the club’s opening day fixture against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were already down to 10 men thanks to the sending of of their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a foul on the Swans’ striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
Carneiro found her role at the club was downgraded in the wake of the incident and eventually decided to leave her post on the 22nd of September. She is currently taking legal action against both Mourinho and the club itself, with the incident rumoured to be the start of the disintegration of the Portuguese’s relationship with his squad.
The Chelsea manager received a one match suspended stadium ban and a £50,000 fine when he claimed that referees were ‘afraid’ to award his side penalties. In a separate incident he served a one match stadium ban and paid a £40,000 fine after he refused to leave the referee’s dressing room during a 2-1 loss to West Ham.
It is understood that Guus Kiddink, who has already been the Chelsea manager for a spell, is likely to come in as an interim manager at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season. With Pep Guardiola reportedly ready to tell Bayern Munich that he will leave in the summer and Diego Simeone considering trying his hand at club management in England, it is possible that either could yet end up in West London.
As for Jose Mourinho, the BBC’s Dan Roan, who broke the news of the 52 year old’s dismissal, believes they he is unlikely to paid the £40 million compensation that has been mentioned in some quarters, but is likely to be paid the remaining £12 million he is owed for this season. With Manchester United likely to consider their options if Louis Van Gaal fails to improve things at Old Trafford and Paris St. Germain always looking to improve their situation, it is unlikely that he’ll be out of work for long.