Chelsea fans still upset over manner of Mourinho departure

The chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group says Jose Mourinho is still revered by fans.

The chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group says Jose Mourinho is still revered by fans.

Tonight, the 47-year-old returns to the club he served with such distinction for the first time with Inter Milan seeking to build on the 2-1 lead they established in the first leg of their Champions League clash at the San Siro.

Group chair Trizia Fiorellino insists Mourinho is cherished by supporters because of the success he brought to the club, and questions the manner of his departure.

"Most of us hold him up on a pedestal," she said. "He's a legend to us, particularly for fans of my age who had been watching Chelsea for around 35 years.

"Most of us had resigned ourselves to never winning the league. Before he came we were used to decades of mid-table mediocrity and the odd flirtation with relegation When he won the league so quickly it propelled him to legendary status.

"He was bit of an unknown quantity when he arrived as we knew Sven-Goran Eriksson was the first choice, but many Chelsea fans felt relieved to have dodged the Eriksson bullet. We started winning game after game and players who had under-performed before starting playing like world-beaters.

"I couldn't believe it when he left - I liken it to the man who (chose not to sign) the Beatles. We had the most successful, in-demand manager in the world at the time and we sacked him. We sacked him, whatever the club or Mourinho might say.

"Results had gone against us on the pitch but that was his first blip since he'd been at the club. The Chelsea hierarchy must look at themselves and think 'what did we do?' because what followed was just appalling.

"If he'd stayed with us and (owner) Roman Abramovich had backed him with some money, he could have built a dynasty to rival Manchester United's. There were players who didn't like him, but guys like Joe Cole and Frank Lampard played their best football under him."