The Tottenham Hotspurs have officially announced that they are parting ways with their manager, Jose Mourinho, after he spent only 17 months at the helm. This surprising move comes only days before the final of the League Cup that the team will play in on Sunday.
In addition, Mourinho’s coaching staff will be leaving with him. Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra, all of whom took their roles under Mourinho, have been relieved of their positions in addition to the manager. The team, which is seventh-place in the League Cup, faces Manchester City on Sunday.
Many fans online are divided over the firing. Some have commented supportive messages, wondering why he’s been cut only days ahead of the Carabao Cup final. Others were fans of the move, saying that Mourinho hasn’t brought the trophies to the club that he was promised to when he was hired on.
The club’s chairman, Daniel Levy, had only kind words for the former manager, calling him a “true professional,” and noting that the club held him in high esteem. “On a personal level, I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged. He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”
There has been a growing controversy in English Football over the formation of a breakaway league called the European Super League. After Tottenham’s board came out in support of the new league, some have suggested that Mourinho may have been removed from his duties for opposing the new league. However, Tottenham has denied this, stating that Mourinho’s firing was unrelated to the ESL.
A number of European football clubs have joined the off-shoot league, which will be led by its “founding clubs”. Those clubs, which now includes Tottenham, are from all over Europe. In the UK, however, the move has been extremely divisive, with many British football fans calling the new league a blatant cash grab.
For instance, the Hotspur’s Supporter’s Trust issued a statement accusing the board of “[betraying] the club, its history and the magic that makes this game so special.” The group further called for the ownership of the team to change hands should the board go through with the plans to join the ESL, showing the deep underlying divisions in the attitudes towards the ESL in the UK.