Home » EPL, Latest » Chelsea sack manager Carlo Ancelotti

Chelsea on Sunday night sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti within two hours of their season ending.

The 51 year-old was informed of the decision by chief executive Ron Gourlay and the club are now stepping up their efforts to hire Turkey coach Guus Hiddink as his replacement.

The other possibilities appear to be an astonishing return for Jose Mourinho or, more remotely, a move for Fulham manager Mark Hughes, potentially to work with Gianfranco Zola as his assistant.

The brutal swiftness of the sacking — it was reminiscent of West Ham United’s treatment of Avram Grant last Sunday – was not unexpected by sources close to Ancelotti and Roman Abramovich, even if it appeared to take club officials by surprise.

At 7.10pm on Sunday night supporters who subscribe to the club’s text message service were sent an ‘alert’ quoting Ancelotti saying: “We haven’t arranged a meeting about my future.” At 7.52pm they received a second text which read: “CFC can confirm that Carlo Ancelotti parted company with the club today. The owner and board thank him for his work.”

Earlier, Ancelotti had attended his normal post-match press conference — he was spoken to by Gourlay after he left the room — and said simply: “I am now on holiday. But I am not sure how long my holiday will be.”

He was even left, embarrassingly, to state again that he expected to meet with the club this week, but was not afforded even that courtesy.

In a subsequent statement the club added the reason for the sacking: “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.” The squad were informed as they departed for Liverpool airport having lost the final Premier League game of the season to Everton 1-0.

Having won the Premier League and FA Cup in his first year, the first time the club had won the double, he led Chelsea to second place in the league in what has been a troubled campaign. However it has been the second failure in the Champions League — going out in the quarter-finals to Manchester United — which has ultimately ended the reign of a manager who has won that competition four times, twice as a player.

Ancelotti was left embarrassed by the club’s decision to sack assistant Ray Wilkins as well as their approach to transfer dealings. With sporting director Frank Arnesen having decided to leave — he officially joins Hamburg this week — Ancelotti had lost his closest ally at Chelsea.

The Italian transformed Chelsea’s playing style, making them far more attractive, while the way he conducted himself helped changed the perception of the club. His treatment this season has damaged that. Abramovich is now set to hire his seventh manager in seven seasons and is once more hurting Chelsea’s credibility.

Ancelotti will not struggle for work and, interestingly, he has said that he would like to remain in England. His trusted assistant, Bruno Demichelis, will also leave the club. In their statement Chelsea added: “Chelsea’s long-term football objectives and ambition remain unchanged and we will now be concentrating our efforts on identifying a new manager.”

Those efforts will concentrate for now on persuading Hiddink to leave Turkey, which may become possible after the country’s crucial Euro 2012 qualifier away to Belgium on June 3. The Dutchman, who is revered by Abramovich, has made much of the fact that he has never broken a ­contract but if Turkey were out of contention for next summer’s tournament it would be easier for him to leave.

However Hiddink, who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker at Chelsea before Ancelotti was hired, has also suggested that he may not be keen to take a full-time manager’s job and it may be that Chelsea can persuade him to return only as a technical director working alongside a younger coach.

Discussions have taken place with Zola about a role with the club although sources have ruled out hiring the likes of Marco van Basten or Frank Rijkaard.

It may be too expensive — and early — to hire Andre Villas-Boas but he is being discussed . The 33 year-old wants to take Porto into the Champions League and any prospective employer would need to pay £13 million under a release clause this year — it would be far less next summer.

There is the prospect of Chelsea trying something different. Hughes, a former Chelsea player, has prospered in London this season at Fulham and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has also been discussed.

And then there’s the big one. It had appeared impossible that Abramovich would contemplate turning to Mourinho — not least because he left with such a big pay-off.

But there’s one intriguing prospect. Would Mourinho consider leaving Real Madrid to ensure that Villas-Boas, with whom he no longer speaks having once been so close, does not get the job? It is possible, although highly unlikely.

But, then again, this is Chelsea.

Source: Telegraph

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