According to a report in the Daily Express newspaper, Ray Wilkins was sacked by Chelsea because of bust-ups with billionaire owner Roman Abramovich and chief executive Ron Gourlay -- and not, as previously reported in the Guardian, because first-team players were 'unconvinced by his ability'.
The former Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers, QPR, and England legend apparently had a 'blazing row' with Gourlay just two weeks before his dismissal after the CEO criticised the club management team over the use of substitutes.
The bust-up followed another argument between Wilkins and Abramovich over the summer, and the assistant manager's deteriorating relationship with the club hierarchy appears to have played the key role in his unexpected departure.
The Pensioners' form has dipped markedly since his dismissal, as the club has surrendered a six point lead at the top of the Premier League. Following the latest defeat against Birmingham City, manager Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged that it was "not my decision" to get rid of Wilkins, which led many commentators to speculate on the effect his departure had on morale at the club.
The Ealing Gazette has provided an insight into the deterioration of the relationship between Wilkins and Chelsea executives by describing a meeting that occurred during the summer. Apparently Abramovich and Gourlay peppered Wilkins with queries about management decisions at the meeting, to which he responded by saying: "Well, if you'd ever played the game you'd know otherwise..."
Wilkins's tenure at Stamford Bridge resulted in an unprecedented Premier League and FA Cup Double last season. Obviously still upset about losing his job, the Express says that he is planning on take the club to an employment tribunal and is receiving guidance on a claim for unfair dismissal from the League Managers' Association.
- Wilkins snubs Blues supremo Abramovich (Ealing Gazette)
- Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins exit followed 'bust-up' (Daily Express)
- Carlo Ancelotti could leave Chelsea over Ray Wilkins dismissal (The Solicitor)
- Wrongful dismissal law (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Unfair dismissal law (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Employment law Q&A (Community)
- Find an employment solicitor (Contact Law)