Chelsea end Ancelotti's two-year stay in charge

Chelsea last night confirmed they have parted company with manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti left his post less than two hours after yesterday afternoon's final Barclays Premier League game of the season at Everton, which the Blues lost 1-0 which heralded the end of their worst season since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, with Ancelotti failing to win a trophy in what was his second year at the helm.

In a statement, the club thanked the Italian for wining the League and FA Cup double for the first time in their history last season, but added: "This season's performances have fallen short of expectations and the club feels the time is right to make this change ahead of next season's preparations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Chelsea's long-term football objectives and ambitions remain unchanged and we will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager"

It is understood Ancelotti was given his marching orders by chief executive Ron Gourlay at Goodison Park after completing his post-match media duties.

That press conference saw him reiterate his belief that he would have a meeting with his bosses next week, during which he would learn his fate. The Italian was in good humour, saying: "I am now on holiday, but I am not sure how long my holiday will be!

"We haven't arranged any meeting but I think in the next week, now the season is finished, the club can address my job and they will take a decision. I have to wait and see what happens. I don't have to say anything to the club, they can judge me on my job for two years."

Ancelotti's dismissal echoes that of West Ham manager Avram Grant, who was given the boot immediately after last week's defeat at Wigan which relegated the Hammers.

Rumours Ancelotti was to depart grew after the club crashed out of the Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester United and his fate was ultimately sealed when a late title charge ended with defeat to the same opponents and ensured this season ended without a trophy.

Ancelotti was recruited from AC Milan two years ago partly because of his reputation as a Champions League specialist. But his two cracks with Chelsea at the trophy Abramovich craves the most arguably saw the club go backwards, as they twice suffered earlier than expected exits.

The Italian's departure will nevertheless elicit a great deal of sympathy, with there being several mitigating circumstances for this season's failure.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The decision to allow five senior players to leave last summer and focus more on youngsters appeared to backfire when injuries struck the spine of the team.

That coincided with the shock sacking of assistant manager Ray Wilkins, which was followed by the club's worst run in the league for almost 15 years.

The January arrival of Fernando Torres also arguably had a destabilising effect at a time when Chelsea looked to be getting their season back on track.

Ancelotti will at least leave having pocketed the final year of his reported 5million per-season salary with former club Roma currently seeking a new manager.

Guus Hiddink is reportedly the Abramovich's top target, with Porto sensation Andre Villas-Boas also heavily touted.