Stamford Bridge club axe legend.
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Chelsea’s players are still reeling after club legend Ray Wilkins was brutally sacked during a reserve game yesterday.
No explanation was given for the abrupt departure of the 54-year-old Blues no.2, who was in the dug out for the 1-0 win over Fulham on Wednesday night.
But it emerged last night that boss Carlo Ancelotti had been fully aware of the club’s decision.
All traces of Wilkins were ruthlessly wiped out from the club’s website within an hour of his lunchtime dismissal, believed to have been at the hands of chief executive Ron Gourlay.
At 1pm Wilkins, who captained Chelsea at 18, had been in the stands at the club’s Surrey training ground watching a reserve game against Bayern Munich.
At half time, around 1.45pm, Wilkins – who had been sat alongside coach Ancelotti – received a phone call summoning him for talks with Gourlay inside the main building of the club’s HQ.
Wilkins never returned and within an hour the club released a statement confirming his contract – which had been up for renewal – would not be extended.
Gourlay said: “On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Ray for everything he has done for Chelsea Football Club.
“We all wish him well for the future.” (Daily Mirror)
It should be remembered that Carlo Ancelotti had singled out Wilkins for praise at the end of last season stating that any success the club enjoyed had a great deal to do with the Chelsea assistant boss and yet the west London club have now gone and treated the former playing legend with incredible contempt.
Cost cutter Ron Gourlay will have angered many with this act of sheer disrespect and one wonders what the rationale for the decision was. Ray Wilkins was on a salary that would have equated to little more than a months wages for the likes of John Terry or Frank Lampard so clearly this was no financially motivated decision, if the idea was to replace the former midfield enforcer with another assistant (names such as Paolo Maldini have been mentioned) then surely Carlo Ancelotti would therefore have sanctioned the move yet the Stamford Bridge boss has been silent on the matter.
The Premier League champions have shot themselves in the foot with such actions and may well live to regret axing a man who clearly had a great deal of respect in the Stamford Bridge dressing room.