LONDON — Jose Mourinho's second spell as Chelsea manager ended Thursday, only seven months after he won his third Premier League title with the club.
Although Chelsea is only one point above the relegation zone, the 52-year-old coach had been defiantly insisting he was the right man to oversee the team even as it collapsed on the field with a succession of humiliations.
A 2-1 loss at Leicester on Monday was Chelsea's ninth in 16 games, the worst-ever start for a defending champion team in the Premier League.
"Both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways," Chelsea said in a statement.
"The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge."
There was no immediate announcement about a replacement for Mourinho.
"The club's focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential," Chelsea said.
After easing to the league title by eight points in May, Mourinho was awarded a new four-year contract on the eve of the new season.
First hired by Chelsea in 2004, the Portuguese coach won the league twice before a fall-out led to his firing three years later. He was brought back in 2013 by owner Roman Abramovich.
Although Mourinho has won every honor in English soccer, he never managed to win a European trophy in either of his two spells at Chelsea. He won the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004 and with Inter Milan in 2010, before and after his first tenure at Chelsea.
"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013," Chelsea said. "His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history."