Chelsea have sacked Jose Mourinho after a poor run of form that has left them 16th contributing to one of the biggest falls from grace in the Premier League.
The Portuguese boss, who led the Blues to the title last season, signed a new four-year deal in August but has been dismissed after just four months into the new season with the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City proving to be the final straw for the Chelsea board.
“Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent,” the club said in a statement.
“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.”
It was the Blues’ ninth defeat in 16 games and Mourinho came out fighting, accusing his players of “betraying” him. It’s the second time Mourinho’s reign at Chelsea has ended in acrimonious circumstances.
Mourinho had insisted he was confident of retaining the backing of owner Roman Abramovich who had given a vote of confidence in October.
And he enjoyed a brief reprieve after securing Chelsea’s place in the last-16 of the Champions League, with victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv and Porto but defeats at Bournemouth and Leicester ultimately ended his tenure.
Guus Hiddink, Pep Guardiola and Juande Ramos have emerged as frontrunners for the Stamford Bridge hot seat, with some reports stating that Hiddink, who managed Chelsea under similar circumstances in 2009 following the sacking of Luis Felipe Scolari, will take the team until the end of the season.