Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been handed a second vote of confidence amid the worst title defence in Premier League history. A survey from the Blues' supporters trust saw an almost unanimous backing of the Portuguese boss in another boost to his immediate future.
The West Londoners have taken just 11 points from their opening 12 league matches, suffering seven defeats, most recently against Stoke City immediately prior to the international break. It means the Stamford Bridge club have the poorest record of any defending champion at this stage of the season since the Premier League's inception in 1992.
Mourinho was offered the club's "full support" earlier in the season amid speculation over his future, while BBC Sport reported after the 1-0 loss to Stoke – which the 51-year-old missed while serving a one-game stadium ban – that his position was not under any immediate threat. Following the Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev, during which Mourinho was the subject of regular chants from the home faithful, the boss labelled the support as "unbelievable".
That public backing has been followed up by another strong message from Chelsea's fan base, who in survey results seen by IBTimes UK voted overwhelmingly in favour of the club ditching the policy of rotating their managers. Nine managers have served under Abramovich in the 12 years since the Russian took over, but that policy should be shelved say the fans.
"Even though the survey was completed before the start of this season, the membership's desire to see the manager being given time to implement a plan with the team validates the Club's decision to back Jose Mourinho and echoes the positive support he receives at the games," Chelsea Supporters Trust chairman Tim Rolls said. "In the light of this desire for managerial stability we would hope that the membership's wish to see more players progress from the Academy can also become a reality."
Elsewhere in the survey, which was responded to by 30% of the trust's members during the 2015 off-season, ticket prices and the development of young players were key topics that Chelsea fans feel should be reviewed. The price of tickets was voted as the most-important issue concerning the club, alongside silverware success, with the youth structure coming third.