Ancelotti sacked by Chelsea

The inevitable is confirmed in the wake of defeat to Everton

Last Updated: 22/05/11 9:01pm

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Chelsea have announced that Carlo Ancelotti has left the club after a trophyless season at Stamford Bridge.

It has long been expected that the Italian would leave the London club, despite winning the Double in his debut campaign in England in 2009/10.

And Chelsea confirmed the inevitable decision to part company with Ancelotti in the wake of a defeat at Everton on the final day of this season.

The Londoners finished second to Manchester United in the Premier League and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League before being eliminated by the same opponents.

But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was not impressed with the least successful season since taking over in 2003 and has terminated the three-year contract Ancelotti signed on his arrival from AC Milan in the summer of 2009.

"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."
Chelsea football club Quotes of the week

The club said in a statement on their official website: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Carlo Ancelotti parted company with the club today (Sunday, 22nd May).

"The owner and board would like to thank Carlo for his contribution and achievements since taking over as manager in July 2009, which included winning the Double for the first time in the club's history.

Respect

"However, 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.

"Carlo will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge, where he will be given the reception and respect his position in our history deserves.

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

"There will be no further comment until that appointment is made."

Ancelotti was recruited from AC Milan two years ago partly because of his reputation as a Champions League specialist.

But his two attempts 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.

Diplomatic

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 immediately 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 and is unlikely to be out of work for long, with former club Roma currently seeking a new manager.

He has expressed a desire to stay in England but, despite diplomatic responses to any interest he might have in taking over a team outside the top six, that seems a non-starter.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will start next season with their seventh manager in just eight years since Abramovich's takeover.

Guus Hiddink is reportedly the Russian's No.1 target, with Porto sensation Andre Villas-Boas also heavily touted.

But securing either of those will not be easy, opening the door for a raft of other candidates.

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