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Why was Ray Wilkins sacked?


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The only explanation I've ever read that made sense is that he had some harsh words for Roman, in the dressing room, after losing to Inter. Not sure of the context and absolutely not sure if any of it is true.

But nothing else makes sense, so I decided to believe it.

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Of course take this with a grain of salt but personally the best explanation I've seen.

Querying a matter raised at the meeting, Wilkins is understood to have turned to Abramovich and chief executive Ron Gourlay and said: "Well, if you’d ever played the game you’d know otherwise..."

Wilkins, known for his affable banter, may not have intended any offence with the comment; however the comment was quickly followed by Chelsea sacking him from his £350,000 per year job.


The reality is that Wilkins appears to have been the latest victim of a power struggle at Chelsea, with the name of his successor likely to point towards the man holding the smoking gun.

Three main contenders seem to be emerging: Ancelotti's man, Abramovich's man, and the fans' man...

The word currently doing the rounds in some quarters is explosive: that Carlo Ancelotti's days at Stamford Bridge may be numbered. Specifically, they say, they are numbered to the last day of the season: after which a club from the north with lots of cash would like to put a proposition to him. Thus, Chelsea are already looking towards next season.

And of course in hindsight it turned out that Emenalo was hired.

Edited by kitierkatba
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Slightly similar to a post above, and heard this from a person working at Cobham - Gourley was escorting associates of Roman's around Cobham and had met CA & RW during the visit, the conversation had gotten round to why certain substitutions had been made at the last game. Wilkins reacted to Gourley raising the question and told him to ***k-off and concentrate on what he knows best and let CA & RW do what they know best.

Next day Wilkin's is out of a job, harsh but tell any Chief Executive to f-off and it's likely you'll be on your way, especially when they have company.

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Another internet rumour was this one:

contact told us that the CEO of Chelsea, Ron Gourlay, had/has been having an extra marital affair and that at a recent Club function, Wilkins wife had gone up to Ron’s wife and told her squarely that her husband was seeing another woman. That sealed Wilkins fate and led to his sudden departure.

100% different to the 'telling Gourlay to eff off in the presence of VIP guests' theory. But it shows that noone really had a clue and that made people make stuff up. A bit like certain journos.

Talking of crap tabloid journalism, here's Martin Lipton having a guess in the Mirror:

In the end, though, being a nice guy was not enough. Certainly not at a Chelsea where value for money is the new mantra, even if the players were said to have been 'stunned' by the news when Gourlay broke it to them.

Indeed, Wilkins' exit can be viewed in the same bracket as the summer decisions to cast adrift Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Deco and Juliano Belletti. No longer deemed cost-effective.

The Guardian guessed that he was there because he was a nice guy who could speak Italian, but as Carlo was also a nice guy who improved his english, his role ceased to be necessary:

Wilkins served under Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Ancelotti, and he would even address the media at press conferences on occasion, to take the pressure off the manager, most notably when things began to go wrong for Scolari.

Yet this aspect of his employment had become less important, not least because Ancelotti has settled into England and English football so well – he has learned to speak the language – and, also, because he brought with him his long-time confidant Bruno Demichelis when he arrived from Milan. Demichelis, a sports psychologist who speaks fluent English, has the title of assistant coach but his role is as the club's scientific co-ordinator.....

....it is clear that Chelsea have decided to make an upgrade in the department. The search for a new assistant is now under way, with two early contenders being Filippo Galli, who was one of Ancelotti's assistants at Milan, and Paolo Maldini,

Maldini or Galli? Remind me who we 'upgraded' to.

The truth was revealed by the man himself:

Ray Wilkins has revealed that he was sacked by Chelsea in a two-and-a-half-minute meeting. He was dismissed as assistant manager last November, and said on Thursday that he was offered “not one†reason by the club for his surprising departure. Moreover, Wilkins, who likened his dismissal to a “kick in the ballsâ€,

But the press have papers to sell, so they make stuff up. With relish.

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Sure wish he never left, things be a lot different. I do appreciate the man that Ray is though because he could've went out to the press and spoke about what happened but he has too much class! A lot of other people wouldn't have handled it the way Ray did... I do like him in the booth but don't get to hear him so much living in the States.

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I do appreciate the man that Ray is though because he could've went out to the press and spoke about what happened but he has too much class! A lot of other people wouldn't have handled it the way Ray did....

Perhaps. Then again, I very much doubt that the club would've dispensed with his services without having Ray sign a confidentiality agreement that covered the circumstances of his departure. Together with an inducement to sign same of course.

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