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Did Mourinho jump or was he pushed?

LONDON, Sep 20 (Reuters) British media was abuzz today with the question of whether Jose Mourinho quit Chelsea or was pushed out of the job.

The Guardian said Mourinho's relationship with Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich soured to such an extent that the Portuguese was forced to walk away.

''Long-standing differences with the club's owner Roman Abramovich have re-emerged so strongly that they have forced him into the drastic step of leaving the club,'' it said.

The Daily Telegraph said Abramovich was perturbed that less than 25,000 supporters attended the Champions League match with Rosenberg on Tuesday.

But it added: ''Abramovich and senior Chelsea figures, including the chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Peter Kenyon, were last night understood to have been completely in the dark over Mourinho's departure.

''Despite Abramovich's anger at the latest slump in Chelsea's fortunes, sources insisted that there was no question of Mourinho being fired.'' The Times, however, said Mourinho had left Chelsea after a ''final bust-up'' with Abramovich.

''Late last night there was growing evidence that the manager had not walked out on the club but had been dismissed,'' it reported.

Former England manager Graham Taylor told BBC Radio: ''I am not surprised he has gone but I am surprised at the timing of it.'' Reuters BJR DB1354

Story first published: Thursday, September 20, 2007, 14:39 [IST]
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