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Legend Scolari sacked as Chelsea manager

  • Story Highlights
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari is dismissed as Chelsea manager with immediate effect
  • Club statement said results and performances appeared to be deteriorating
  • Scolari, who led Brazil to 2002 World Cup triumph, joined Chelsea last July
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London, England (CNN) -- Brazilian legend Luiz Felipe Scolari has been sacked as manager by Chelsea after "deteriorating" results and performances, the Premier League club announced on their Web site on Monday.

Brazilian Scolari has been sacked by Chelsea with immediate effect.

Brazilian Scolari has been sacked by Chelsea with immediate effect.

The decision follows Saturday's goalless home draw against Hull City that has left the west London club fourth in the table -- seven points behind defending champions and league leaders Manchester United.

Chelsea's Web site statement read: "Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club with immediate effect.

You say: Were Chelsea right to dismiss Scolari? Who should replace him?

"The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager.

"Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon.

"Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.

"In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now.

"The search for a new manager has already started and we hope to have someone in place as soon as possible.

"While that continues assistant coach Ray Wilkins will take charge of the team on a pemporary basis."

The 60-year-old Scolari, who won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, took charge at Stamford Bridge last July after leading Portugal at the Euro 2008 finals.

He became the fourth manager of the Roman Abramovich era following Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant and speculation has already started over who will be the fifth incumbent.

Ranieri was in charge when Russian billionaire Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and left a year later when Mourinho arrived to win consecutive Premier League titles. He is now at Inter Milan.

Grant, who was sacked by Chelsea last summer after leading them to the Champions League final, is now being linked with a return to the club -- as well as the vacancy at Portsmouth where he was once technical director.

Chelsea's next match is away to Championship club Watford in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.

A week later they go to Aston Villa, currently a place above them in the league, and on Wednesday February 25 host Juventus in their Champions League knockout stage first leg clash.

Scolari enjoyed plenty of success as a club manager in Brazil and was linked with the England job after the departures of Sven Goran Eriksson and later Steve McClaren.

But results and crowd unrest suggest he struggled to meet the demands of life among the Premier League elite with Chelsea stars said to have been unhappy with his playing system

Former Chelsea midfielder and manager John Hollins told Sky Sports News: "You can't knock him for what he's done internationally but club football is a different ball game.

"I feel he couldn't adapt to the every day thing (of club management). Internationally he's had time to look at a game and pick a team but (Chelsea) is instant."

United's long-serving supremo Alex Ferguson told MUTV of his shock at Scolari's sudden departure.

"I am really surprised. It is a shock so soon -- he only took the job seven months ago," Ferguson said.

"He is a man of great experience; he took Brazil to World Cup winners -- and was the obvious choice to replace Avram Grant.

"It is a sign of the times. There is absolutely no patience in the world now."

According to PA Sport, Scolari's spokesman Acaz Fellegger believes it was Abramovich's decision to get rid of the Brazilian coach.

They quoted Fellegger as telling Lance! newspaper's Web site: "It seems that Abramovich made the decision."

"He (Scolari) was not in a comfortable situation despite having the support of the squad and (chief executive) Peter Kenyon.

"The Chelsea squad are old. Felipe tried to rejuvenate it, but unsuccessfully. He asked (the board) to sign Deco and Robinho, but they only brought Deco."

Scolari issued a short statement on Fellegger's Web site, saying: "I wish luck to Chelsea in the three competitions they are involved in. I also take this opportunity to confirm that I will keep living in London and I will respond to the media soon."

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