Chelsea have sacked Frank Lampard less than 24 hours after the club’s FA Cup victory over Luton Town, with Thomas Tuchel primed to replace him.
As the news, exclusively first reported by Telegraph Sport, was digested by supporters, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich took the unprecedented step of explaining his decision in the club’s statement confirming Lampard’s departure, something he has never felt the need to do before.
Abramovich said: “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.
“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.”
Former technical director Michael Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia have previously been left to comment on managerial departures and appointments, but Abramovich decided he needed to explain the sacking of Lampard and make it clear that he took responsibility for the change.