Chelsea elected to sack Jose Mourinho after “palpable discord between manager and players” left the club “in trouble”, Technical Director Michael Emenalo revealed on Thursday.
Chelsea announced that Mourinho had left the club “by mutual consent” after a run of nine defeats in 16 games that has seen the Premier League champions slide to within a point of the relegation zone.
Mourinho said that his players had “betrayed” his work after Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester City — his last game in charge — and Emenalo confirmed that relations between the Portuguese and his squad had broken down.
“The facts of the matter remain that Chelsea Football Club is in trouble,” he told Chelsea TV. “The results are not good. There obviously seems to be a palpable discord between manager and players. We feel it was time to act.”
Emenalo, who has been at Chelsea since 2007, said that the club’s disastrous form had left owner Roman Abramovich with no choice but to sack Mourinho for a second time.
“The owner is forced to make what was a very tough decision for the good of the club,” said the former Nigeria midfielder. Make no mistake about it, Chelsea Football Club, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is one point above relegation in the English Premier League. And that’s not good enough.
“Anybody, any fan, who loves the club or has any affiliation with the club can understand this club is in trouble. Something needed to be done.”
Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, employed as Chelsea manager on an interim basis in 2009, is reportedly close to agreeing a return to the club in a similar role.
Chelsea are due to host Sunderland in the league on Saturday and Emenalo said that it would not be an issue if the club go into the game without a manager.
“You’re not a big club if you don’t have contingency plans for situations like this,” he said.
“We’re a big club that have quality coaches embedded within the club and I think we will be OK for Saturday. We will have competent people come up and help with preparation for the game. The club is working vigorously and actively to make sure that the situation with regards to a managerial appointment is taken care of as soon as possible.”