Chelsea's directors, who have been stunned by the speed of Mourinho's departure, were summoned back to Stamford Bridge last night for an emergency meeting after the premiere of the club's tub-thumping documentary Blue Revolution.
Mourinho, who has been at loggerheads with the Chelsea board for the past 12 months, sent text messages to five players at 6pm last night and told them that he was leaving after a little over three years at the club.
After Tuesday's game against Rosenborg, Mourinho spoke to his players in the dressing room for less than two minutes - criticising Salomon Kalou for failing to take his chances.
He spent an equal amount of time with Abramovich in the players' lounge before leaving Stamford Bridge.
That was highly unusual behaviour, even for Mourinho, and matters came to a head after his discussion with the club's billionaire owner.
By midnight last night, the entire first-team squad were aware that Mourinho, who led the club to two Premiership titles, will be forced out today.
The Chelsea manager told them he would report to the training ground as usual, but only to say goodbye.