Chelsea have confirmed the stunning news that Jose Mourinho has left the club by “by mutual consent” after just over three years in charge.
The Premier League club reacted to speculation over the future of the Portuguese coach by revealing the two parties had agreed to part company by mutual consent.
Mourinho is understood to have contacted five senior players on Wednesday afternoon to inform them of his departure and by midnight the entire first team squad were aware he was going.
Peter Kenyon, the club’s chief executive, Bruce Buck, the chairman, and Roman Abramovich’s key aide, Eugene Tenenbaum, were called to an emergency meeting at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to discuss the emerging crisis.
Former Israel coach Avram Grant, recruited in the summer as director of football, is expected to take charge of the side for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.
A statement on the Chelsea website confirmed: “Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company today (Thursday) by mutual consent.”
Mourinho led the club to two Premier League titles after joining the club in June 2004 but their disappointing start to the new season had taken its toll on him.
He still had three years left on a contract worth a staggering £6.5million a year.
At the time he signed that deal, Mourinho said: “My heart is with Chelsea and the fantastic group of players that I have but the vision of the owner and the board for the future of Chelsea is also one I want to be a part of.
“I cannot imagine another situation or another club where I could be happier. I am totally behind this project.”
But the Chelsea board are thought to have become increasingly unhappy over the team’s form at the beginning of the campaign.
The Blues are currently fifth in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Arsenal after six games, and their 1-1 draw with Rosenborg in their opening Champions League game on Tuesday night – played in front of less than 25,000 fans – did not help Mourinho’s cause.
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