Manchester United issued Jose Mourinho with a damning list of reasons why his time was up.

The 55-year-old was sacked on Tuesday morning after he and his squad had a day off following the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward delivered the news personally at Carrington shortly after 9am.

Sources close to Mourinho say it came as a “complete surprise.”

Man Utd felt they had no option but to pull the plug on Mourinho’s reign, with their lowly Premier League position just one factor in the decision.


The Portuguese leaves with the club in sixth place – 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool and 11 off the Champions League positions.

But there were deeper reasons behind today’s decision, with insiders adamant that no-one is bigger than the club and for the long term prospects of United, Mourinho simply had to go.

United’s hierarchy are understood to have been bitterly disappointed by the style of football, as well as the results.

They insist Mourinho was provided with ample financial backing, to the tune of around £400m, and expected more progress on the pitch.

Insiders also insist Mourinho personally chose every player brought in during his time in charge at Old Trafford, despite his repeated complaints about the club’s transfer strategy.Perhaps most damning was the accusation that young players had not developed sufficiently under his rule.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

In a statement United said: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.

“A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

United expect to have an external caretaker in charge in time for Saturday’s clash with Cardiff.

The, as yet unnamed, appointment will have links to United, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant Carlos Queiroz an early favourite.

United will also overhaul their structure and step up the pursuit of a technical director or director of football to work under Woodward.