Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich explains decision to sack ‘icon’ Frank Lampard

Alex Pattle
·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has spoken out on the decision to fire head coach Frank Lampard.

Former Blues midfielder Lampard was sacked on Monday morning after a season-and-a-half in charge of the club, which he leaves ninth in the Premier League table on 29 points – 11 behind leaders Manchester United.

Former Paris-Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is expected to replace Lampard.

Chelsea were 3-1 winners against Luton Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, but the result did not relieve the pressure on Lampard, whose team have underperformed despite the club’s summer spending of £222million on new signings.

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“This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” Abramovich said in a rare public statement.

“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.

“On behalf of everyone at the Club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future.

“He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”

A club statement read: “This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.

“We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.

“There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.”

Lampard was appointed head coach at Chelsea ahead of the 2019/20 season following one term in charge of Championship side Derby County, with whom he failed to achieve promotion.

The 42-year-old’s stint at Derby marked his first senior coaching role.

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