Chelsea have sacked their manager.
It’s a sentence we’ve written many times before, but this time it’s a little different.
This isn’t a cold-hearted mercenary winner from the continent, this is club legend Frank Lampard, and giving him the boot is a whole different kettle of fish.
Even Roman Abramovich, not one for sentimentality, has broken with tradition by giving a quote about the man he just fired, breaking a silence that has gone on almost uninterrupted since his arrival in the UK 2003.
“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,” the owner wrote in a statement on the club’s website.
“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,” he went on.
“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,” Abramovich concluded.
It’s quite unprecedented to see him say anything in public at all, let alone a very personal, almost apologetic explanation for his actions. That shows the unique relationship between the two compared, and the understandin within the club that this is going to be tough to swallow for the fans.
The statements ends by saying that the club will make no further comment until a new head coach is appointed. From what we hear, that could be very soon.