UK & World News
Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo Sacked
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has lost his job six months after winning the Champions League with the London club.
Confirmation of the Italian's sacking came less than 12 hours after Chelsea lost 3-0 to Juventus in Turin - putting their defence of Europe's biggest club competition in jeopardy.
In a statement, the club said: "Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.
"The team's recent performances have not been good enough and the owner and the board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season."
The Blues have failed to win any of their last four Premier League games, a run which has seen them slip from top to four points behind leaders Manchester City.
Abramovich reportedly instructed chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Ron Gourlay to deliver the bad news, which they did at around 4am at the club's training ground following the team's return flight to London.
It is understood Di Matteo was far from shocked by the decision and had already said what amounted to a farewell to some of his players prior to the meeting.
The club said an announcement would be made shortly regarding a new manager.
Immediate attention will turn to whether the club can lure former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola out of a year-long sabbatical from football.
Guardiola was a reported target for owner Roman Abramovich in the summer despite Di Matteo's Champions League and FA Cup success.
He had vowed to take a year's break from the game, but he is likely to be among the favourites to succeed Di Matteo on a permanent basis.
Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is also being tipped to take over at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez was quizzed in Abu Dhabi about whether an approach had been made.
He told Sport360: "You ask directly, I cannot answer directly.
"In football, a lot of people are talking so we will see what happens in the next few days.
"I am looking for a club that can challenge for trophies and Chelsea is one of these clubs.
"I have to talk with my agent and see what he has been doing the last couple of days. But I am just trying to go to a team that can win."
Di Matteo took charge of Chelsea - initially on a temporary basis - after the club sacked Andre Villas-Boas in March.
He rescued the club's ailing Champions League campaign and steered them against all odds to victory over Bayern Munich in the final on the German team's home turf, having already secured the FA Cup.
He was given a two-year contract in June, but not before there had been major speculation over whether Guardiola would take over.
The season started well domestically but they have fallen slightly off the pace in recent weeks. Di Matteo has become the first top-flight manager to leave his post this season.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew expressed his surprise at the Chelsea manager's departure.
He said: "I'm astonished, really. It just goes to show you how precarious we are as Premier League managers and you can't take anything for granted.
"The shock that should be there for the fans and the media should sound something to the owner of that football club because I don't know if that's the ninth manager or whatever it is in so many short years. It's just not fair.
"As far as I am concerned, he has done absolutely nothing wrong. His philosophy was to perhaps change the look of the team, which he has tried to do - that doesn't happen overnight - and he's won two competitions in less than a year, so it's unbelievable.
"He should walk straight into another job - probably at someone else's misfortune, unfortunately."
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand called the decision "madness" on his Twitter page.
He added: "The stability at our club is something our manager rarely gets praise for...don't underestimate that."
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what do you think?
Was always on the cards. Was a stand in until pep
Pep would be mad to go there, better off waiting and going to utd and I hate utd.
Pep would not work with glaziers.
By the looks of it no one can work with abramovich.
I semi agree. But to this day he knows he never should of got rid of mourinho. Him and pep are the only 2, I can see now having a future at Chelsea. Mattaeo was always a stand in.
so the man loses his job,i blame the players as they are so far up there own butt,they dont wanna play football,they want the lifestyle,all bout greed..
3 things are guaranteed at chelski, 1- you'll get well paid, 2- you'll get sacked, 3- your reputation will be ruined, I don't understand how chelski fans can put up with this.
It is not the manager the team should be on a performance related scheme dont win you dont get paid how easy is that any way it is a over rated sport
What manager would want to work for Abramovitch unless they have their eye on a paid up contract after a few months work.
Roman Abramovich why has Chelsea not won the manager of the month .R.B. "Because they have to stay there for a month":))))
Thankless job, how could you concentrate on being a manager of Chelsea when the sack is always on the horizon
Windows Live User
Worst job in the world. No one better to find is there? You have win every day at the highest level or your out Get rid of the team first as they were the ones kicking the ball around
Abramovich - joke!
He could just save is money and do the job himself after all hr pockd players
He picks players is wot it should say .dam ts phone
Yeah 1 major problem, when he fails how can he sack himself hahaha.
Mou failed to win the BIg Cup (but won everything else) - sacked Grant got to the final of the Big Cup and lost (thanks to JT slipping on his butt)- sacked Anclelotti won the double - sacked AVB was the next 'Mou' - sacked Matteo won the Big Cup - sacked. What does a Chelsea manager have to do?
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Apparently win everything every season is the answer. This club is a joke. How many squillions has Abramovitch spent getting rid of nine managers in a decade ?
lets be honest about matteos tenure, the win of champions league was a chance of events in many respects, and prior to coming to Chelsea as an assistant to avb, he was not what you would call Chelsea first choice of manager. right time right place.
And people talk about Man City's owners..
Looks like rafa to cheatski.
short term hussein
Did he really think his going to fluke the champions league again. You can't get lucky twice
No you need class like Bob Paisley
Roman it would have been cheaper to have paid your tax in Russia than buy Chelsea.Doh!!!
Mark hughes watch out !