Chelsea’s decision to sack Antonio Conte in the summer of 2018 cost the club £26.6million in compensation, the club’s latest accounts have revealed.
Conte was replaced by Maurizio Sarri, who went on to last just one campaign himself, having finished fifth in the Premier League two years into a three-year contract.
The £26.6million figure includes Conte’s backroom staff, who all left the club following his sacking, and means that Chelsea have now spent £90million on sacking managers since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2004.
The now Inter Milan manager had taken the club to an arbitration tribunal over his sacking, with his legal team arguing that he was entitled to be paid until he had found a new job.
Chelsea, in response, argued that his behaviour – including falling out with a number of players, most notably informing Diego Costa by text message that he would not be part of his plans – was in breach of contract.
However, the panel ruled in favour of Conte in May of last year as he became the 10th manager to leave Stamford Bridge in the Abramovich era and the eighth to receive a pay off.
Conte himself received about £9million, meaning the rest of the £26.6million sum went to his backroom team along with legal costs.
”Exceptional items in the current year of £26.6million relate to changes in respect of the men’s team management and coaching staff, together with associated legal costs,” read the club’s accounts for the financial year ending June 2019.
Sarri lasted just one year in charge at Stamford Bridge, heading to Juventus after an unhappy campaign that still yielded a Europa League title and Champions League qualification.
Chelsea are yet to comment further following the release of the accounts.