Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said the club had to sack Jose Mourinho because of a “palpable discord” between the manager and the players.
Mourinho was dismissed on Thursday afternoon with the Blues 16th in the Premier League and just a point above the relegation zone after their worst start to a season since 1978.
The move has been criticised by some of the club’s supporters and many feel Mourinho should have been afforded more time to improve the situation after winning the league title last season.
But Emenalo has explained the decision was made to “protect the club” and that there were issues between the players and their manager Mourinho, who described himself as feeling “betrayed” by his team in the 2-1 loss at Leicester City on Monday.
“What happened was not a pre-meditated decision, it was a decision taken to protect the club,” Emenalo told Chelsea TV.
“While there is huge sentiment for the individual who has done so much for the club, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea is a club in trouble.
“The results are not good and there obviously seems to be a palpable discord between manager and players. We felt it was time to act.
“The owner is forced to make what is a very tough decision for the good of the club.
“Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world and is one point above the relegation places in the Premier League; that is not good enough.
“Anybody who loves the club or has any kind of affiliation to the club can understand that this club is in trouble and that something had to be done.”