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Mourinho leaves Chelsea
Chelsea manager leaves the club 'by mutual consent' after relationships break down.
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2007 17:41 GMT

The self-proclaimed "Special One" could not bring European glory to Chelsea [GALLO/GETTY]

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has left the English Premier League club with immediate effect.
 
The club released a statement on its website early on Thursday saying "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company today by mutual consent".
The manager reportedly rang midfielder Frank Lampard to say that he was leaving, before text messaging a further five senior players.
 
There was some dispute over whether the 44-year-old had resigned or had been sacked following crisis talks at Stamford Bridge.
Reportedly, an irate Roman Abramovich had called the meeting after the Blues sluggish start to the season which culminated with a 1-1 draw with Rosenborg.
 
Further reports suggest the reason for the termination of the former Porto manager's contract was the recruitment process in the summer as well as his decision to allow certain players to leave the London club.
 
Mourinho's poor relationship with Abramovich has been public knowledge and despite an apparent improvement in relations last season the duo were again at odds over the role of $60m striker Andrei Shevchenko and the Blues' dour style of football.
 

"What is clear, though, is we had all reached a point where the relationship between the club and Jose had broken down."

Chelsea open letter to fans

The Portuguese manager, who has won the Champions League with Porto and two Premier League titles as Chelsea manager, was the subject of continual scrutiny last season and hinted at an exit last summer when he admitted he "was a bit fed up with certain things" at the club.
 
Grant and Clarke step in
 
Later on Thursday, Chelsea announced that Avram Grant and Steve Clarke would take charge of the first team in the wake of Mourinho's departure from the club.
 
A statement from the club read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Avram Grant and Steve Clarke will be in charge of the first team from today (Thursday).
 
"The club is delighted that in Avram we have an experienced man who can come in immediately at this difficult time to help deliver our objectives.
 
"In Steve we have a Chelsea man and he will be a crucial part of the management team going forward.
 
"Avram and Steve have our full confidence and support."
 
However the club statement did not make it clear whether Grant, a former Israel coach, and Clarke, formerly number two to Mourinho, were being appointed on a long-term basis.
 
Praise in open letter to fans
 

Mourinho had been at odds with owner Roman
Abramovich over choice of players [EPA]

Mourinho, who took Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup in his three-year spell in charge, was then hailed for his contribution to Chelsea in an open letter to fans issued by the club late on Thursday.
 
"It is only right we explain the reasons behind Jose Mourinho leaving Chelsea and also recognise the immense contribution he has made to the club and to English football," read the letter.
 
"Early this morning we announced Chelsea and Jose Mourinho had agreed to part company by mutual consent. The key phrase here is there was mutual agreement. Jose did not resign and he was not sacked.
 
"What is clear, though, is we had all reached a point where the relationship between the club and Jose had broken down. This was despite genuine attempts over several months by all parties to resolve certain differences.
 
"The reason the decision has been taken is we believed the breakdown started to impact on the performance of the team and recent results supported this view.
 
"We did not want this to continue or affect the club further."
 
Still welcome at Stamford Bridge
 
Chelsea have drawn two and lost one of their six domestic league games this season and were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at home by Norway's Rosenborg in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
 
The letter also paid tribute to what their Portuguese former manager had done for a club who had not won the league for 50 years before his first season in 2004-05.
 
"He has been the most successful manager the club has known and he rightly deserves that place in our history.
 
"Jose has been instrumental in putting Chelsea where it is today, among the leading clubs in European and world football. He will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge whether as the guest of Chelsea or as the manager of another club, and he will be given the reception and respect his position in our history deserves."
Source:
Agencies
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