Chelsea board hope Jose Mourinho will 'stay ten years'

Mourinho Press Conference Still

Ron Gourlay is hoping that Jose Mourinho is looking at Chelsea for the long-term.

Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge last summer, signing a four-year contract, and expressing his delight to be back in London and with the Blues.

During his last spell as manager, between 2004 and 2007, current chief executive Gourlay worked as the chief operating officer - closely linked with Mourinho’s job.

He has overseen many of the off-field decisions that have come to characterise the Blues, notably their dismissal of managers, culminating in Mourinho becoming the club’s third manager in seven months.

Following the departure of Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012, the club appointed former Liverpool man Rafa Benitez - a move which angered large sections of the West London crowd.

However, Gourlay told the Evening Standard that Benitez - who led the club to the Europa League title - was no more than a stop-gap, with a plan set in stone six months down the line.

“We had to make the change," the 51-year-old said.

“We have to make decisions that are in the best long-term interests of the club. Around that period there weren’t many alternatives. But we knew what our plan was six months down the line. We had to look to the future. You’ve got to look at how to get over the next hurdle.”

Whilst it was well-rumoured that the Blues were keen to bring Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge, Gourlay refuses to talk about the subject, with the coach still employed by Real Madrid during Benitez’s spell in charge.

“You’re talking about a manager who was in another job. You have your plan A, plan B, plan C. I don’t like talking about other clubs, about other managers, because it’s disrespectful.”

Whilst he is unwilling to discuss the finer details of Mourinho’s appointment, he is keen to admit his hopes that the Portuguese coach will “stay 10 years” in West London.

“Having the security of Jose is great for me — he knows the club, knows me. Last time he was here, I was chief operating officer and we worked well together.

“Jose can deal with the media in a different way from some of the other managers we’ve had. He takes the pressure not only away from the players but also from the club. He’s very good at that and allows us to manage and me in particular to drive the club forward.”

Gourlay was not the only happy man when Mourinho confirmed his return to Chelsea, but, considering the role he played in bringing ‘the happy one’ back to London, he may be forgiven for being the happiest of the lot.

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