Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Claudio Ranieri sacked by Leicester nine months after winning Premier League

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has been sacked, the Premier League champions have announced.

The Foxes are currently one point above the relegation zone.

With the Foxes hovering just one point above the relegation zone, the Italian was relieved of his duties after the team returned home from Wednesday night's 2-1 Champions League defeat to Sevilla.

In announcing Ranieri's departure, the club paid tribute to his achievements as the club's "most successful...manager of all time" but said their perilous league position required action.

Leicester vice Chairman Aiyawatt 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.

Read more

"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 battle to avoid same fate as Manchester City

Leicester's dismal Premier League campaign has cost Claudio Ranieri his job and put them in danger of becoming only the second English champions to see their title defence end in relegation.

The Foxes still have time to escape the ignominy that befell Manchester City in 1938 but they should be wary there is precedent - albeit rare - for the mighty to fall with the heaviest of bumps.

For Leicester in 2016, see City in 1937. The Maine Road side had won the title for the first time and the outlook was bright.

''As champions, the Blues were expected to be the team to watch,'' wrote historian Gary James in his book 'Manchester - The City Years'. ''They were supposed to be the ones who set the football world alight. Sadly, the new season was astounding for all the wrong reasons.''

City lost three of their opening five games and found themselves battling regular criticism thereafter.

There were some obvious high points, notably convincing victories over Derby (6-1 and 7-1), West Brom (7-1), Middlesbrough (6-1) and Leeds (6-2) when they showed their champion qualities.

In fact, they rattled in 80 goals in the course of their 42 games, more than any other team in the division and finished with a positive goal difference.

Leicester City fans celebrate in the Market Tavern in Leicester after seeing their side crowned Barclays Premier League champions following Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 drew against Chelsea. PA
Leicester City fans celebrate in the Market Tavern in Leicester after seeing their side crowned Barclays Premier League champions following Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 drew against Chelsea. PA
A Chelsea fan holds up a banner celebrating Leicester City being crowned champions following the 2-2 draw during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea fans hold up banners celebrating Leicester City being crowned champions following the 2-2 draw during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans celebrate as their team becomes Premier League champions after watching the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Spurs' failure to win against Chelsea tonight sees Leicester City claim their first ever top flight title. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans celebrate as their team becomes Premier League champions after watching the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Spurs' failure to win against Chelsea tonight sees Leicester City claim their first ever top flight title. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans celebrate in the Market Tavern in Leicester after seeing their side crowned Barclays Premier League champions following Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 drew against Chelsea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans celebrate as their team becomes Premier League champions after watching the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Spurs' failure to win against Chelsea tonight sees Leicester City claim their first ever top flight title. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans celebrate in the Market Tavern in Leicester after seeing their side crowned Barclays Premier League champions following Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 drew against Chelsea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Chelsea fans hold up banners celebrating Leicester City being crowned champions following the 2-2 draw during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans watch the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. If Spurs fail to win against Chelsea, Leicester City will become Premier League champions. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans celebrate as their team becomes Premier League champions after watching the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Spurs' failure to win against Chelsea tonight sees Leicester City claim their first ever top flight titel. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans celebrate Chelsea's second goal as they watch the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. If Spurs fail to win against Chelsea, Leicester City will become Premier League champions. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02: Leicester City fans watch the Barclays Premier League between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Yates's Bar on May 2, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. If Spurs fail to win against Chelsea, Leicester City will become Premier League champions. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans take a picture in Hogarths pub in Leicester during the Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur match. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Leicester City fans react in Hogarths pub in Leicester after Chelsea's Eden Hazard scores the equalising goal against Tottenham Hotspur. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Leicester City fans react in Hogarths pub in Leicester after Chelsea's Eden Hazard scores the equalising goal against Tottenham Hotspur. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Leicester City fans react in Hogarths pub in Leicester after Chelsea miss a goal-scoring opportunity against Tottenham Hotspur. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Leicester City fans react after a missed chance for Chelsea during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a pub in central Leicester, eastern England, on May 2, 2016. Leicester City's remarkable football season could see them crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history without kicking a ball on May 2 if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur fail to keep the Premier League title race alive. Anything less than a Spurs victory away to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (1900GMT) -- a ground where they haven't enjoyed a league win for 26 years -- will see Claudio Ranieri's men, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, complete a stunning triumph. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans react after a missed chance for Chelsea during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a pub in central Leicester, eastern England, on May 2, 2016. Leicester City's remarkable football season could see them crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history without kicking a ball on May 2 if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur fail to keep the Premier League title race alive. Anything less than a Spurs victory away to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (1900GMT) -- a ground where they haven't enjoyed a league win for 26 years -- will see Claudio Ranieri's men, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, complete a stunning triumph. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans react after Chelsea scored to pull one goal back during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a pub in central Leicester, eastern England, on May 2, 2016. Leicester City's remarkable football season could see them crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history without kicking a ball on May 2 if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur fail to keep the Premier League title race alive. Anything less than a Spurs victory away to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (1900GMT) -- a ground where they haven't enjoyed a league win for 26 years -- will see Claudio Ranieri's men, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, complete a stunning triumph. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City fan reacts as he watches after Tottenham score in the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a pub in central Leicester, eastern England, on May 2, 2016. Leicester City's remarkable football season could see them crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history without kicking a ball on May 2 if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur fail to keep the Premier League title race alive. Anything less than a Spurs victory away to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (1900GMT) -- a ground where they haven't enjoyed a league win for 26 years -- will see Claudio Ranieri's men, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, complete a stunning triumph. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City fan reacts as he watches after Tottenham score in the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a pub in central Leicester, eastern England, on May 2, 2016. Leicester City's remarkable football season could see them crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history without kicking a ball on May 2 if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur fail to keep the Premier League title race alive. Anything less than a Spurs victory away to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (1900GMT) -- a ground where they haven't enjoyed a league win for 26 years -- will see Claudio Ranieri's men, 5,000/1 outsiders in pre-season, complete a stunning triumph. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur and Nemanja Matic of Chelsea battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans react in Hogarths pub in Leicester after Chelsea miss a goal-scoring opportunity against Tottenham Hotspur. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (L) scores their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester-based musicians film a video for their latest music project "Fearless" in central Leicester, eastern England, on 2 May, 2016. The song has been recorded to celebrate Leciester City Football Club's performance in the 2015/16 season of the Premier League. AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill celebrates scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans, who are facing a nail-biting wait to see if their side pulls off one of the greatest comebacks in English football history and lifts the Premier League trophy. PA
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (left) and Chelsea's John Obi Mikel battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
A Thai supporter of Leicester City reacts as people watch the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester United on the TV, in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, May 1, 2016. The teams drew 1-1. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (left) grapples with Chelsea's John Terry during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA
Leciester City fans watch the Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur game at Hogarths pub in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur splits open the Chelsea defence to score the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Leciester City fans watch the Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur game at Hogarths pub in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro chases the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (centre) battles with Chelsea's Gary Cahill (right) and Branislav Ivanovic during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 2, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Tottenham Hotspur's Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld (front) heads the ball in front of Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill (back) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: A Chelsea fan holds up a banner in support of Leicester City's title challenge during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur takes a throw in during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino (L) talks with Chelsea's Dutch interim manager Guus Hiddink (R) on the touchlinen during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Kyle Walker (R) holds off Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro (L) to play the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's John Terry before the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (left) and Mousa Dembele (right) before the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA
A fan wears a mask of Chelsea's John Terry in the stands before the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA
The Spurs players warm up prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic walks on the pitch before kick off of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on May 2, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
The Chelsea mascots Bridget and Stamford pose prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Mounted Police officers patrol prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

On the negative side, however, came a run of four successive defeats in December and January and then a torrid sequence through February and March that saw them lose six and win none in eight.

By this stage they were heading for trouble. There are parallels with Leicester, who have shown fleeting glimpses of their old selves in the Champions League and in a routing of Manchester City in December, but lost their last five in the league.

The table is tight, with just three points separating the bottom five teams, and a run of results could see the Foxes pull clear of danger.

But this was something that proved beyond City 79 years ago when the bottom end of the First Division was even tighter.

Going into the final round of games, even 12th-placed Blackpool were still in danger. City's fate was in their hands and they would have survived with a draw.

That might actually have seemed the perfect result given that opponents Huddersfield also needed a point to stay up, but the Terriers went all out for victory having been stung by FA Cup final defeat the previous week.

This is where luck completely deserted City. Their 1-0 defeat would not have been disastrous had any of Grimsby, Portsmouth, Birmingham or Stoke lost - but they all won.

City even felt they should have had a draw after claiming a 35-yard drive from Alec Herd struck the stanchion inside the net and rebounded into play. The referee viewed it had hit the crossbar.

To compound matters, Manchester United were promoted to take City's place in the top flight.

Things have not got so bad for Leicester just yet, but they will be wary of being sucked into such danger, and their position will clearly affect how they prioritise for the remainder of the season.

James reports that at one point in that 1937-38 campaign, City captain Sam Barkas wrote an article for the Manchester Evening Chronicle which he ended with ''an admission that his ambition was not now to win the league but to win the FA Cup which, he called, the greatest prize in football''.

A prize now considered even greater, the Champions League, is still possible for Leicester, but Ranieri's departure shows avoiding the drop is their main focus.

 

Online Editors

Read More

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph