Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge of Chelsea came to an abrupt end on this day in 2007.
The brash Portuguese, who had won the Premier League in each of his first two seasons in charge, left Stamford Bridge by mutual consent after just over three years in charge.
The news came as a huge shock with the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, recruited from Champions League-winning Porto in a blaze of publicity in 2004, having also delivered the FA Cup and two League Cup triumphs.
Yet there had also been reports that Mourinho’s relationship with billionaire club owner Roman Abramovich had become strained.
Mourinho had reportedly disagreed with Abramovich over transfers – both in terms of the money available for recruitment and the Russian’s preference of players – while he also did not welcome the appointment of Avram Grant as director of football.
It was against this backdrop that Mourinho’s contract, which still had three years left to run, was terminated following a slight dip in in form early the 2007-08 campaign.
Chelsea had begun the campaign by collecting 10 points from their opening four Premier League matches but a run of three games without a win – including a Champions League draw against Norwegian minnows Rosenborg – preceded his exit.
The news was announced in a short statement from the club shortly before 2am on September 20.
“Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company today (Thursday) by mutual consent,” it read.
Mourinho was succeeded by Grant, who led Chelsea to the Champions League final before being sacked at the end of the season.
Mourinho returned to the game with Inter Milan, where he won the top European club competition for the second time in his career in 2010.
He later moved to Real Madrid before returning for a second spell at Stamford Bridge in 2013 in which he won another Premier League title and the League Cup. He then had stints at Manchester United and Tottenham and is now at Roma.