Jose Mourinho’s first stint 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 to the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, drafted from Champions League winner Porto in a burst of publicity in 2004, having also delivered the FA Cup and two League Cup triumphs.
However, there were also reports that Mourinho’s relationship with the club’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had become strained.
Mourinho reportedly disagreed with Abramovich over the transfers – both in terms of money available for recruitment and the Russian’s player preference – while also not liking the appointment of Avram Grant as director of football.
It was against this backdrop that Mourinho’s contract, which still had three years to go, was terminated after a slight dip in form at the start of the 2007-08 campaign.
Chelsea started the campaign with 10 points from their opening four Premier League matches, but a three-game winless streak – including a Champions League draw against Norwegian goldfish Rosenborg – preceded their departure.
The news was announced in a brief statement from the club shortly before 2am on 20 September.
- Premier League: 2005, 2006
- League Cup: 2005, 2007
- FA Cup: 2007
- Community Shield: 2005
“Chelsea Football Club and José Mourinho have agreed to part ways today (Thursday) by mutual consent,” the text 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 play with Inter Milan, where he won Europe’s top 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.