Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Chelsea after a board meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the club have confirmed.
The 52-year-old Portuguese manager has paid the price for Chelsea’s terrible start to the season, with the defending Premier League champions winning just four of their 16 matches and suffering nine defeats already this season.
Club owner Roman Abramovic appeared determined to stand by Mourinho despite sitting just one point above the relegation zone, but after a board meeting on Wednesday the decision was taken to relieve Mourinho of his duties.
A statement issued on the Chelsea website read: "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."
Mourinho was given a vote of confidence earlier in the season, but after progressing to the last-16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Porto, the pressure looked to have been eased slightly on the team as well as Mourinho himself.
However, the 2-1 defeat to Leicester proved pivotal in the decision to axe Mourinho, and after the five Chelsea board members met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the future of the Portuguese, the decision was taken to sack him with immediate effect.
Reports claimed that Guus Hiddink has already been lined up to take charge of the team until the end of the season, replicating a similar role he fulfilled in 2009 after Luiz Felipe Scolari was dismissed.
More to follow...
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies