Guus Hiddink has described Chelsea's failure to secure European Football next season as a 'football disaster'.
After cantering to the Premier League title in 2014-15, a tumultuous season that included the sacking of Jose Mourinho nears its conclusion with Chelsea unable to achieve even a spot in the Europa League.
Departing Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claimed it would be 'disastrous' if his side failed to earn a top-four spot and a place in the Champions League.
And Chelsea's interim boss Hiddink acknowledged that, in footballing terms, a failure to play in Europe is a huge underachievement for a club of Chelsea's size.
"When I talk about big words like 'disaster', there are bigger things in the world, but in the football world you might call it a football disaster," he said at a news conference.
"Chelsea must always be in the top as they used to be, better than that even always fighting for silverware. In that respect, in the narrow football world, yes, Chelsea should be there."
Hiddink also expressed personal disappointment that, having achieved his first goal of helping Chelsea escape the threat of relegation, they were unable to achieve new targets.
"Of course, [I am disappointed not to qualify for Europe]. My first job was to get them as soon as possible out of the relegation zone with no further targets at the point," he added.
"You never know in the English league what can happen. No one expected at the beginning that the champions will be Leicester.
"We completed my first obligation, which we did relatively fast in a few months. Of course then I wanted another target to go to the FA Cup final and Champions League final. That didn't happen."