ROMAN ABRAMOVICH made an appearance at the Chelsea training ground this afternoon following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
He is set to appoint Dutchman Guus Hiddink as interim boss until the end of the season and has reportedly offered the players a fresh start.
The Russian is said to have delivered a short speech insisting he did not want to sack Mourinho but had been left with no choice – with the help of a translator.
Chelsea sit one point above the relegation zone in 16th despite winning the title so easily last season and Mourinho was dispatched just four months after signing a new four-year deal.
Hiddink is in London today ahead of talks with Abramovich but is unlikely to take charge in time for Saturday’s match with Sunderland.
Steve Holland and Eddie Newton will take the team.
Technical director Michael Emenalo spoke after Mourinho’s departure to reveal the reason for his dismissal.
“Anybody, any fan, can understand that this club is in trouble and something had to be done,” said Emenalo.
“The contract clearly signifies that what happened today was not a pre-meditated decision, it was a decision taken to protect the interests of the club.
“While there has been huge sentiment for the individual, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea Football Club is in trouble. The results have not been good.
“There obviously seems to be some palpable discord between the manager and the players.
“The owner is forced to make what was a very tough decision for the good of the club. Make no mistake about it.
“Chelsea Football Club, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is one point above relegation and that is not good enough.”