Chelsea will not sack Portuguese manager, says Kenyon


LONDON: Chelsea pledged their support to manager Jose Mourinho on Friday with chief executive Peter Kenyon saying the club would not sack him. 

“Jose has a contract to 2010 and he wants to stay. We are not going to sack him, he has the club’s support. That is the situation and we are agreed on it,” Kenyon was quoted as saying on Chelsea’s website. 

Speculation has been rife that relations between Mourinho and Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had broken down to such an extent that the Portuguese manager would be forced out at the end of the season. 

Kenyon said, however, that no list of alternative candidates had been drawn up, despite frequent suggestions in the media, who have linked a variety of top European managers with the Stamford Bridge job. 

Kenyon said he hoped the speculation would now stop. 

“As far as we are concerned what is most important is that it is business as usual at Chelsea and putting our energy into winning the three remaining trophies.” 

Chelsea, who won the League Cup in February, trail Premier League leaders Manchester United by three points and will meet them in the FA Cup final next month.  

They are also in the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they meet Liverpool with another final against United also a possibility. 

“We support Jose as manager and, given the level of speculation, where we are now is an even bigger achievement,” Kenyon was quoted on the website as saying in an interview with the club’s television station to be broadcast later on Friday. 

Mourinho, who arrived in London fresh from winning the Champions League with Porto in 2004, led Chelsea to their first English championship for 50 years and a second last season. Their League Cup triumph was also their second under the outspoken coach. 

Despite his success and the support of his players, Mourinho’s provocative style has sometimes irked the Chelsea hierarchy. His much publicised differences with Abramovich over spending in January to cover injuries and over roles and responsibilities within the club have led to a chill in relations. 

Abramovich, who was in the middle of a divorce, spent several weeks away from the club earlier this year and stopped visiting the dressing room after the matches he attended. 

However, after last Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Blackburn Rovers he shook hands with Mourinho, suggesting the beginning of a thaw. 

Kenyon said new contracts for Chelsea captain John Terry and vice- captain Frank Lampard, also the subject of speculation linking their futures with Mourinho’s, had yet to be completed. 

“What’s important to remember about contract speculation is that there are only two definitive states, when discussions start and when they end, either with agreement or with no agreement.  

“And at the moment we are in between those situations,” he said. – Reuters 

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