Chelsea: Big Phil, you've got axed!

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Chelsea have confirmed that Luiz Felipe Scolari has been sacked following a poor run of form, although the decision still took many by surprise.

The Brazilian only took charge of the Blues in the summer and after a promising start the Blues have slipped to fourth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United.

Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Hull City proved to be the final straw for Scolari and the club have moved swiftly to stop the rot by axing Big Phil and placing Ray Wilkins in temporary charge.

A statement on the club's official website said: "Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea 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."

Meanwhile, Scolari's spokesman, Acaz Fellegger, has insisted that the decision was made personally by Blues owner Roman Abramovich, stating that his client still had the support of the squad and chief executive Peter Kenyon.

"It seems that Abramovich made the decision," Fellegger told newspaper Lance.

"He (Scolari) was not in a comfortable situation despite having the support of the squad and Peter Kenyon.

"The Chelsea squad are old. Felipe tried to rejuvenate it, but unsuccessfully.

"He asked (the board) to sign Deco and Robinho, but they only brought Deco."

Scolari also issued a statement via Fellegger's website: "I wish luck to Chelsea in the three competitions they are involved in.

"I also take this opportunity to confirm that I will keep living in London and I will respond to the media soon."

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