Many fans told ITV News they were 'gutted' by the sudden departure of Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea have sacked Thomas Tuchel in the wake of Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.
German coach Tuchel led Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2021 and the Club World Cup crown in 2022, but has paid the price for an indifferent start to the new campaign.
New owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have worked hard all summer to impose their authority at Chelsea, but this represents the boldest and most sweeping change yet.
Chelsea insisted they had made the change at the "right time" amid the club's continued transition out of the Roman Abramovich era.
'Right time to make transition'
"On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, the club would like to place on record their gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea's history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here," read a club statement published on Wednesday.
"As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
"Chelsea's coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.
"There will be no further comment until a new head coach appointment is made," the statement added.
Below: Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes told ITV News she enjoyed working with Tuchel at the club - but the owners simply wanted change.
In August Tuchel attracted unwelcome headlines when he was charged with alleged improper conduct over his comments on referee Anthony Taylor after Chelsea’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Tottenham.
The Chelsea boss admitted “maybe it would be better” if Taylor did not referee the Blues again, after a controversial day for the officials in the derby draw at Stamford Bridge on August 14.
Tuchel was hit with a £35,000 fine and a suspended one-match touchline ban for his dugout spats with Spurs boss Antonio Conte that saw the two coaches sent off in west London.
New owners Boehly and Eghbali paid a world-record sports franchise £4.25billion to buy Chelsea from Russian billionaire Abramovich at the end of May.
The ambitious US magnates are in the process of overhauling every aspect of the Blues’ operation, and have acted quickly to unseat Tuchel.
The highly regarded German coach has overseen three defeats in seven matches in the new campaign, after the Blues invested a one-window Premier League record £273million to revamp the squad.
Tuchel played a key role in Chelsea’s recruitment this summer, with Boehly acting as interim sporting director as well as chairman.
The former Paris St Germain coach also steered Chelsea through the mire of UK Government sanctions from March to May last season, amid the wider impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Blues’ search for a new sporting director continues, with former Liverpool supremo Michael Edwards still the long-term target.
Now the Blues need a new manager at the Stamford Bridge helm, with Brighton boss Graham Potter and former PSG and Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino among the early candidates.
Chelsea supporter Dan Silver said: "This is prime Abramovich-like ruthlessness that (the owners) have shown.
"There’s clearly something going on behind the scenes.
"I think it’s more to do with relationships off the field (rather than results on the pitch).
"We’ve had three very insipid performances away from home. Yesterday (against Zagreb) was pretty much the worst game I’ve watched Chelsea play in a long, long time."
Tuchel told BT Sport that “everything was missing” from the Blues’ performance in Zagreb.
Dan Silver added: “ I think his post-match statement yesterday was quite damning in terms of everything about it. It’s a Scott Parker-esque sacking this isn’t it?
“I obviously didn’t see it coming. I thought he would probably get until maybe the international break (later this month) to turn things around. (The owners) gave him (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang last week, that’s clearly (Tuchel’s) player.
“So something has clearly happened between September 1 and today to cause them to do this.”
Asked who should come in next, Silver added: “The obvious choice is Graham Potter. He’s a fantastic manager, but whether he’s going to want to leave Brighton and shoot himself in the foot…and that’s compensation (that would need to be paid).
“(Mauricio) Pochettino, I don’t know whether he’s the man because he’s not exactly set the world alight in Paris. In Paris, you pretty much just turn up and you win the French league. I love Graham Potter because he’s a very progressive coach.”
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