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    Jose Mourinho Has Left Chelsea FC After A Disastrous Start To The Season

    The Stamford Bridge fan-favourite has parted ways with the club.

    Jose Mourinho has parted ways with Chelsea FC after the club's worst ever start to a Premier League season.

    Ian Walton / Getty Images

    At a meeting on Thursday, the club's directors decided the beleaguered manager should go despite giving him their backing earlier in the season.

    In a statement on the club's website, Chelsea confirmed the Portuguese manager's departure from Stamford Bridge:

    "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."

    Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent.

    The Portuguese boss still had strong backing among the club's fans, with his name still being chanted during matches, and banners depicting his image still being flown proudly at Stamford Bridge.

    Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

    But with just 15 points from 15 matches, Chelsea's defence of their Premier League title is in tatters. The club is 16th in the table – just one point above the relegation zone – and there have been clear signs of a rift between Mourinho and some of his most important players.

    On Monday night, the club lost 2-1 to current league leaders Leicester City, who narrowly avoided relegation last season.

    Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

    After the defeat, pundits questioned whether Mourinho's squad were willing to play for him, focusing on one particular incident that saw Chelsea's star player Eden Hazard choose to leave the pitch and play no further part in the game.

    Hazard was caught by Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and appeared to hurt his hip in the incident, but some had speculated as to whether the injury was genuine.

    His father Thierry Hazard dismissed these claims and told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: "These are stories that are invented when things go bad."

    The defeat to Leicester was seen as one step too far by Chelsea's directors, who will now seek to replace Mourinho, and get the club's season back on track as soon as possible.

    Ian Kington / AFP / Getty Images

    One of the favourites to take Mourinho's place at Stamford Bridge is Spanish manager Juande Ramos, who has experience of managing in the Premier League, having managed Tottenham from 2007-08.

    However, as with Rafa Benitez's appointment at Chelsea 2012, it is thought Ramos would only be offered an interim role at the club, while they find a long term replacement.

    Guus Hiddink is also a favourite to take over on an interim basis.

    Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, former England manager Fabio Capello and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola have all been linked with the club on a long term basis.

    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

    Jose Mourinho had recently renewed his contract with Chelsea, signing a four-year deal in August 2015 worth £13m.

    At the time, he told Chelsea FC's media team: "If the club is happy, I am happy. I think this is a normal thing for me to sign a new contract."

    While sacking Mourinho so soon after signing a new four-year deal will prove costly for Chelsea, it is thought a figure for the settlement between between the two parties has not yet been reached.

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