Jose Mourinho has quit as Chelsea manager. The Portuguese quit (or maybe was fired from) the West London team in the early hours of this morning, over 24 hours after Chelsea drew 1-1 against Norwegian team Rosenborg in their opening game of this season's Champions League.

Chelsea's owner, the billionaire Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich, has had a bad relationship with Mourinho over the past year or so. Mourinho, who many see as extremely arrogant, became manager of Chelsea in June 2004 when, in his very first press conference, actually daid that he is "The Special One." In 2005 Chelsea won the English championship for the first time in 50 years and then amazingly won it again in 2006. Mourinho has also won the FA Cup and the Carling Cup with Chelsea and has taken them to the latter stages of the Champions League. Roman Abramovich also brought Ukrainian striker Shevchenko to the team from AC Milan, but Mourinho was unhappy with this decision, didn't want to have Shevchenko in his team and the striker is not as the high form he was a few years ago. This year Manchester United won the title and Chelsea's form at the start of the season has not been too good.

Mourinho's departure even caused Downing Street to issue a statement.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a football fan and somebody who enjoys watching Premiership games, so he knows Mourinho has a fantastic record of success.

"He's made a significant contribution to British football in a short period of time and he's also one of the great characters of the game."

Under Mourinho Chelsea never lost any games at their home ground in the Premiership.

Mourinho walks away with a tremendous record. Of the 120 league games he took charge of, Chelsea won 85, drew 25 and lost just 10 and all those 10 were as the away team.

Chelsea are also the most expensively assembled football team in the world and in history.

Chelsea's former director of football, the Israeli Avram Grant, has already been named as Chelsea's new manager.

Players in tears as Mourinho says farewell to Chelsea - but nets a £20m payoff from Abramovich

Jose quits after rift with Chelsea owner

20th September 2007
Daily Mail

Jose Mourinho said an emotional farewell to his Chelsea squad today, with many players in tears as he left the club's training ground for the last time.

The flamboyant manager's sudden departure, which has stunned the football world, appeared to be prompted by his strained relationship with the club's owner, Roman Abramovich.

But, as he said his farewells today at the club's training ground in Cobham, Surrey , the 44-year-old coach was able to console himself with the fact that he is now in line for a parting payout of more than £20 million.

At 4pm this afternoon the manager was photographed making a final visit to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho arrives at Stamford Bridge for a final goodbye at 4pm today

Despite winning two Premiership titles in three years as coach, the 44-year-old's relationship with Abramovich had become increasingly difficult after lack of success in Europe and an indifferent start to the season.

Mourinho's announcement was shocking enough to elicit a response from Downing Street, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown heaping praise on the coach.

Mr Brown's spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a football fan and somebody who enjoys watching premiership games, so he knows Mourinho has a fantastic record of success.

"He's made a significant contribution to British football in a short period of time and he's also one of the great characters of the game."

Farewell: Jose Mourinho leaves the Cobham training ground this morning after saying farewell to players

Following his meeting with players, Mourinho dashed out of the training ground, hiding his face in his trademark trenchcoat and refusing to answer questions.

The self-styled "Special One", is said to have texted five senior players including captain John Terry last night to indicate that he was leaving.

Many of Chelsea's staff and players had been at a Fulham cinema to watch a screening of Blue Revolution, a documentary about the Abramovich years, which was attended by a glum-looking Mourinho.

He has three years left on his £6.5million-a-year contract and his representatives will today begin hammering out a compensation package.

Quit shock: Jose Mourinho shocked the sporting world by quitting his £6.5million-a-year contract

Mourinho is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the business. William Hill began taking bets today on him becoming the next England manager.

A brief statement from the club said: "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company today by mutual consent." Peter Kenyon, the club's chief executive, Bruce Buck, the chairman, and Mr Abramovich's key aide, Eugene Tenenbaum, were called to an emergency meeting at Stamford Bridge last night.

Chelsea's director of football Avram Grant is apparently set to take over for their next match which is against Manchester United this weekend.

But former Chelsea player Didier Deschamps has emerged as one of the frontrunners to replace Mourinho on a full-time basis.

Fans reacted with disbelief to the news of Mourinho's departure, with one supporter writing on the club's official website: "We have been known to shoot ourselves in the foot, but this one is off the scale."

His shock departure came after a meeting with Mr Abramovich, after the Russian billionaire had become increasingly dissatisfied with the team's recent results culminating in Tuesday's draw against Rosenborg in the Champions League.

Family support: Mourinho at Stamford Bridge with his wife Tami and their children Jose Jnr and Matilde

Although the coveted Champions League trophy eluded him, Mourinho had won every domestic honour since his arrival in England and the team never lost a home league game during his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

However, Mourinho and Mr Abramovich have been at loggerheads for several months over a series of issues in the running of the club - the most expensively assembled football team in history.

Owner Roman Abramovich was frustrated at Mourinho's lack of success in the Champions' League

In January, Mr Abramovich angered Mourinho by failing to make funds available to buy a defender.

The signing of Ukrainian striker Andrei Shevchenko, a close friend of Mr Abramovich's, was also a cause of contention as Mourinho failed to see eye to eye with the striker who has yet to justify his price tag.

Mr Abramovich's recruitment of another personal friend, the former Israel coach Mr Grant, as director of football, was seen as a move which undermined Mourinho's position at the club, and rumours began circulating that a shortlist of managerial replacements had been drawn up.

The final straw came on Tuesday when, in front of fewer than 25,000 fans, a sluggish Chelsea could only manage a 1-1 draw with the Norwegian side.

Chelsea fans today expressed their surprise at the news on football forums and the club's website. Tim Smith, 32, from Wimbledon, said: "I am gutted. For all his flaws and how irritating he could be, Josť had winning in his DNA and this could destabilise the team."

Chelsea began this season poorly by their own high standards. A lacklustre 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa was followed by a dull 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday that left them fifth in the table.

Mourinho bemoaned his luck in typical fashion. "You cannot make an omelette without eggs,Ó he said, referring to injured internationals Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack.

But Mourinho walks away with a tremendous record. Of the 120 league games he took charge of, his team won 85, drew 25 and lost just 10.

With his outspoken views and quirky wit, Mourinho often courted controversy.

In 2005, he accused Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard of going into referee Anders Frisk's room at half-time during their Champions League clash at the Nou Camp, in which Drogba was sent off.

His remarks earned him a two-match touchline ban.

His spats with rivals in the Premiership also landed him in hot water. In January 2005 he accused Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of a similar offence of trying to influence a match official - it earned him a £5,000 fine for improper conduct.

"Alex was clever putting pressure on the ref at half-time," he said. "It was whistle and whistle, fault and fault, cheat and cheat." He famously called Arsene Wenger a "voyeur" after the Arsenal manager reported Chelsea for approaching the fullback Ashley Cole.

He claimed he had compiled a 120-page dossier of Wenger's remarks. Mourinho clashed with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on a regular basis.

Despite his domestic domination of the Spaniard during the Blues' title-winning seasons, he could never plot a course past Benitez in Europe.

Twice Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in the Champions League semi-finals, and their relationship became ever more frosty.

As Benitez put it: "We were good friends until Liverpool started winning, then he started changing his mind."

But Mourinho's most damaging rift was with his employer who allegedly felt that his coach's brushes with con- troversy and the functional style of play he instilled in the team were holding Chelsea back.

Mourinho, the son of former Portuguese international goalkeeper, is known for his settled family life.

He married childhood friend Matilde in 1989 and they have two children Matilde and Jose Jr. They live in a flat in Eaton Square, Belgravia.

The family dog, a Yorkshire terrier called Leya, was in the headlines earlier this year when it mysteriously disappeared after the Chelsea manager refused to hand it over to animal welfare officials. The dog later turned up in Portugal.

He had a generally unsuccessful playing career as a reserve team defender and midfielder with small clubs and turned to management with his home town club Vitoria de Setubal in the early Nineties.

He went on to work with Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto where he earned the nickname Tradutor (translator). He followed Robson to Barcelona in 1996 and eventually coached the Catalan club's B team.

He first full managerial job came in 2000 when he took over at Benfica but quit after just nine games in charge. After a spell at unfashionable Uniao de Leira he joined FC Porto in 2002, winning his first title the following season 11 points ahead of Benfica.

The following year he pulled off the league and Champions League double at Porto before joining Chelsea.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 20th, 2007 at 12:04 PM..