Antonio Conte’s two-year tenure as Chelsea manager, which began with a bang last year after winning the Premier League title, ended sourly on Friday with the club announcing they had parted company with him.
The 48-year-old Italian had been seen as vulnerable despite winning the FA Cup last term having fallen out with both the board and senior players.
The former Italy national coach returned to take training this week but the writing was on the wall and the drawn out process was reportedly due to how much compensation the club should pay Napoli for his likely successor Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea finally released a statement on Friday announcing the departure of Conte, and it could not have been more terse:
“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company. During Antonio’s time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup. In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories. We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”
Social media was quick to get on Chelsea’s case, with the London-based club’s fans also joining in.
Former captain John Terry showed the club how it is done, as he wrote a thoughtful note to Conte on his Instagram:
Conte leaves with the best win percentage 65.1% of any of Chelsea’s managers in the Premier League era. He is due a reported £ 9million if he remains out of work for the season and with the major jobs such as Real Madrid and the Italy national post – which he occupied for two years till after Euro 2016 – filled it is likely he will sit the year out.
Napoli are also expecting compensation of around £4.5million for Sarri, who is under contract even though he is no longer their coach.
With inputs from AFP