Manchester United fired José Mourinho today following the club’s worst ever Premier League start, the final straw being a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
A caretaker manager will be appointed and will work until the end of the current season to give the club a chance to find a replacement manager with the golden touch.
It was not always like this – Mourinho’s first season at Old Trafford saw United winning the League Cup and the Europa League but the fans are fed up with losses and the uninspiring style of football now being played by their team.
Mourinho has been successful throughout his career, with earnings to match his celebrity status, but has struggled throughout this third season at Manchester.
On the financial front, Mourinho’s recent dead patch has been disastrous for the club’s share price which has fallen 34% since August this year but the terms of his contract mean he will not be too badly hit – severance pay of ‘at least £15 million’ has been noted by the British press.
The poor start to the 2018/19 season saw Manchester United lose two of their opening three league games for the first time in twenty six years.
When probed, an animated Mourinho demanded “respect” from critical journalists, and held up three fingers – one for each Premier League trophy he had won as coach, adding, “I won more Premier Leagues alone than the other 19 managers (in the league) together.”
At his next press conference, four days later, he said, “I am the manager of the one of the greatest clubs in the world but I’m also one of the greatest managers in the world.”
As a manager, Mourinho has won 25 major honours, making him one of the most successful managers of all time. He was named Portuguese Coach of the Century by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015, and holds the distinction of being the first coach to have spent more than £1 billion on transfers.
The Guardian summed up the situation, “In the end the most startling thing about the sacking of José Mourinho by Manchester United is still the appointment of José Mourinho at Manchester United in the first place.”
December 20: the Chosen One released a brief stateemnt, “”I have been immensely proud to wear the badge of Manchester United since the first day I arrived, and I believe all United supporters recognise this. Just as was the case with my previous clubs, I have worked with some wonderful people and I believe that some will be my friends for life.
“I know that you are all aware of my professional principles. Each time a chapter is closed I show my deepest respect and I don’t make any comments about my former colleagues.
“I hope the media will also respect my position and let me live my normal life until the moment I decide to return to football. Merry Christmas.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has subsequently been appointed as the club’s interim boss until the end of the season.