Chelsea’s new owners have sacked head coach Thomas Tuchel just three months after completing their takeover of the club.
Tuchel’s 100th and final game in charge of Chelsea was Tuesday’s 1-0 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb and sources told ESPN the 49-year-old was informed of the decision on Wednesday morning.
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A consortium led by LA Lakers part-owner Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital acquired Roman Abramovich’s club at the end of May and oversaw a record spending in a single window for Chelsea of more than £250 million on nine players.
However, sources told ESPN that relations between Boehly and Tuchel became strained due to the club’s transfer strategy, while further concerns about the team’s substandard start to the season prompted the ownership to act.
Members of the club’s backroom staff will take on temporary duty, possibly also for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Fulham, as the search begins for Tuchel’s replacement.
A club statement read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as they continue their hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe the time is right to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will look after the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves quickly to appoint a new head coach.
“There will be no further comment until a new head coach is appointed.”
Tuchel was appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor in January 2021 and led Chelsea to their second Champions League crown in May that year.
In February, he led Chelsea to the only trophy previously to elude Abramovich during his 19-year tenure, the Club World Cup, with victory over Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.
However, Tuchel was then under intense pressure as the public face of the club, as Abramovich was effectively forced to sell Chelsea after the British government imposed sanctions relating to his alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tuchel steered the club through a difficult period on the pitch when the Boehly/Clearlake consortium negotiated their purchase of the club.
However, disagreements have emerged over the club’s transfer strategy and sources have suggested that Boehly was worried that Tuchel’s messages were not getting through to the players, many of whom were frustrated at his approach.
Tuesday’s defeat in Zagreb was their third consecutive away loss, the first time it has happened under Tuchel, while the club lie sixth in the Premier League having won three of their opening six matches.
Speaking after defeat in Zagreb, Tuchel said: “Of course I’m frustrated; there’s too much to analyse, I’m part of it, and we’re clearly not where we need to be. At the moment everything is missing.”