Duo to replace Jose

20 September 2007 04:25
Chelsea have confirmed that Avram Grant and Steve Clarke have been placed in charge of the first team following Jose Mourinho's dramatic departure on Wednesday evening. A brief statement on the Blues ' official website read: "The club is delighted that in Avram we have an experienced man who can come in immediately at this difficult time to help deliver our objectives. "In Steve we have a Chelsea man and he will be a crucial part of the management team going forward. Avram and Steve have our full confidence and support." Blues owner Roman Abramovich appointed Grant as the Blues' director of football in the summer following a spell at Portsmouth. The 51-year-old Israeli is a close friend of Abramovich and it is believed Mourinho did not welcome his arrival. Grant coached Maccabi Tel Aviv twice in the 1990s before taking charge at Maccabi Haifa, between 2000 and 2002. He also managed the Israel national team from May 2002 before joining Pompey last year. Mourinho joined the Blues in June 2004 after guiding FC Porto to Champions League glory. In his three full seasons with Chelsea he won five major trophies - two successive Premiership titles, two Carling Cup successes and victory against Manchester United in last season's FA Cup Final. However, he failed to guide the club past the semi-finals of the Champions League and his final game was Tuesday's grim 1-1 draw with Norwegian side Rosenborg. Without the injured Didier Drogba in recent weeks, Chelsea had looked toothless in attack and the draw against Rosenborg followed a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa and goalless stalemate with Blackburn. Mourinho left after the club held a crisis meeting on Wednesday to discuss the side's indifferent start to the new season. His relationship with Abramovich has been poor for some time and he had been tipped to leave the club at the end of last season. Mourinho, who still had three years left on his contract, texted several senior players on Wednesday night to confirm his departure. He took charge of 185 games during his time with the Blues, winning 124, drawing 40 and losing 21. Chelsea are currently unbeaten in their last 60 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho's guidance.

Source: ESA

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