Mourinho refutes Blues' version, insists he was sacked

LONDON • Jose Mourinho made it clear yesterday that his departure from Chelsea on Thursday was not by mutual consent, insisting instead that the club sacked him.

The Portuguese released a statement in which he revealed that he will "not be taking a sabbatical" from football because he "isn't tired", "doesn't need it" and is "very positive" as he looks forward to a new challenge.

Chelsea's official statement on Thursday, which announced the departure of the 51-year-old from the Premier League champions, said: "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent."

But his statement read: "During his career, Jose has sometimes chosen to leave a club but only at Chelsea has the club decided that he should leave."

He underlined his achievements at the club and passed on his thanks to the fans for their support.

"Mourinho is pleased that he returned to Chelsea football club because he was able to give the fans another Premier League title, which they had not won for many years," the statement read.

Although lacking in specifics, the statement also made it clear that he intends to return to management at the first opportunity.

"Jose hopes that his future after Chelsea this time will be as successful as when he left the club in 2007," the statement read.

"Because of his love of football, you will see Jose at football grounds working and supporting friends.

"He will not be attending any high-profile games because he wants to discourage any speculation about his future."

The statement added that he will "remain living in London and hopes he and his family will be given the opportunity to do this privately".

Yesterday, Mourinho attended the Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Middlesbrough in his first public appearance since his sacking.

Sporting a newly shaven head and wearing a dark jacket, he was photographed in a seat at the Amex Stadium, where his former Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka was taking charge of Middlesbrough.

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2015, with the headline 'Mourinho refutes Blues' version, insists he was sacked'. Print Edition | Subscribe