Breaking News: Chelsea Sack Luiz Felipe Scolari

Alex StampCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2009

Chelsea Football Club have announced that they have dismissed manager Luis Felipe Scolari with immediate effect.

A statement on the clubs website said:

"Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club today (Monday) with immediate effect.

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 temporary basis."

Scolari has come under increasing pressure in recent times, as results have gone against him. Saturday's 0-0 draw against Hull City, on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool, saw Chelsea fans jeer the team, and chant anti-Scolari songs against him.

Scolari, a World-Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, joined Chelsea in the summer, and made a bright start to his career at Stamford Bridge, beginning the campaign in fine style with a 4-0 thumping of Portsmouth.

However, results soon changed, and Scolari lost big matches against rivals Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool and the team began to lose their early season momentum.

Furthermore, there were continued rumours of dressing room unrest, with players rumoured to have complained over training methods, and rumoured rifts between certain members of the squad.

However, though Scolari struggled, his position was compromised. He had little money to spend, compared with his predecessors and the only signing he was able to make in January was that of Quaresma on a loan deal, while he also had to contend with the departure of Steve Clarke—a long-standing servant of the club.

Furthermore, he was hampered by the injury of Michael Essien, who has yet to return this season, while the likes of Cech, Deco, Kalou, Malouda and Drogba have yet to truly hit form this season.

For Chelsea, this now means the club are seeking their fourth manager in two years, following the departures of Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant. Rumoured for the job are a returning Avram Grant, and Guus Hiddink, a frequent rumoured target of Roman Abramovich.

The new manager will be hoping to turn around the club's season, as the team now find themselves well off the pace in the league and having to play an in-form Aston Villa side next.

Meanwhile in the Champions League they face a tricky Champions League second round tie against Juventus, where they will come face-to-face with former manager Claudio Ranieri.