Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after their worst start to a season in almost 30 years, the club announced on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old Portuguese’s last match in charge was the 3-1 defeat by Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday which left them 19 points behind their opponents.
Mourinho’s sacking comes just two-and-a-half years into his tenure and three years and a day since Chelsea sacked him just months after he had guided them to the title.
Former player Michael Carrick, now a member of the coaching staff, is expected to take charge in an interim role but United said a caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the season.
The club’s worst start in the league since 1990 means even Mourinho’s ambition of reaching the top four and a Champions League qualification spot is in danger.
According to British media reports, United will have to pay Mourinho 22.5 million (USD 28 million) — as the club are still in the Champions League — to sever the ties.
“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a club statement said.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.”