Thursday, 23 February 2017

Claudio Ranieri sacked by Leicester 298 days after Premier League title win

Leicester City have sacked Claudio
Ranieri just nine months after he
led the club to their first Premier
League title.
Ranieri guided Leicester to the most
unlikely of title wins last season and
went on to win FIFA's Coach of the
Year for the achievement.
However, Ranieri and Leicester
have struggled this season, with the
club sitting just one point and one
position above the relegation zone,
having failed to score a single
league goal in 2017.
Leicester are still in with a chance
of qualifying for the quarterfinals of
the Champions League following
Wednesday's 2-1 round-of-16 first-
leg defeat to Sevilla, but the club
have opted to remove Ranieri
ahead of Monday's Premier League
clash against Liverpool.
A Leicester statement read:
¤
"Leicester City Football Club has
tonight [Thursday] parted company
with its first team manager, Claudio
Ranieri.
Club statement: #lcfc and Claudio
Ranieri part company: https://t.co/
C5qnSVxDgU pic.twitter.com/
VqlHy1I6Ut
- Leicester City (@LCFC) February 23,
2017
¤
"Claudio, appointed City manager in
July 2015, led the Foxes to the
greatest triumph in the club's 133-
year history last season, as we were
crowned champions of England for
the first time. His status as the
most successful Leicester City
manager of all time is without
question.
¤
"However, domestic results in the
current campaign have placed the
club's Premier League status under
threat, and the board reluctantly
feels that a change of leadership,
while admittedly painful, is
necessary in the club's greatest
interest."
Leicester were favourites to be
relegated upon Ranieri's
appointment, having been involved
in a relegation fight the season
before under Nigel Pearson.
However, inspired by players
including Jamie Vardy, Riyad
Mahrez and N'Golo Kante, Leicester
went on to challenge at the top of
the table, eventually seeing off
Tottenham to the title.
But Leicester were unable to keep
hold of Kante in the summer, with
the midfielder leaving for Chelsea,
while Vardy and Mahrez have
struggled to replicate last season's
form, contributing to Leicester's
decline.
Leicester issued Ranieri a vote of
confidence earlier this month,
saying he had their "unwavering
support," but vice chairman
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said it
was in the best interests of the club
for the 65-year-old to be dismissed.
Srivaddhanaprabha said: "This has
been the most difficult decision we
have had to make in nearly seven
years since King Power took
ownership of Leicester City. But we
are duty-bound to put the club's
long-term interests above all sense
of personal sentiment, no matter
how strong that might be.
¤
"Claudio has brought outstanding
qualities to his office. His skilful
management, powers of motivation
and measured approach have been
reflective of the rich experience we
always knew he would bring to
Leicester City. His warmth, charm
and charisma have helped
transform perceptions of the club
and develop its profile on a global
scale. We will forever be grateful to
him for what he has helped us to
achieve.
¤
"It was never our expectation that
the extraordinary feats of last
season should be replicated this
season. Indeed, survival in the
Premier League was our first and
only target at the start of the
campaign. But we are now faced
with a fight to reach that objective
and feel a change is necessary to
maximise the opportunity
presented by the final 13 games."
Leicester were dumped out of the
FA Cup last weekend by League One
side Millwall, who were reduced to
10 men, and Ranieri hit out at his
players after the game.
¤
"I want to speak again with the
players and say we have to fight
every match," Ranieri said. "Who
wants to fight? Tell me. I need the
soldiers, I need the gladiators."
Assistant manager Craig
Shakespeare and first-team coach
Mike Stowell, meanwhile, will take
charge of the Leicester squad until
a new manager is appointed.
Ranieri's assistant manager and
first-team coach Paolo Benetti, as
well as his first-team sport science
and conditioning coach Andrea
Azzalin, have also departed with
him
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