Chelsea have confirmed the sacking of Frank Lampard with the club confirming the ‘difficult decision’ to part ways with the under-fire manager.
Lampard’s position has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks following a series of poor performances from the west London side, Chelsea having dropped to ninth in the Premier League following a run of just two victories in their past eight league fixtures.
The club are currently six points adrift of the Champions League places and have now taken action despite a 3-1 FA Cup fourth round victory over Luton this weekend, parting company with the Blues’ legend after 18 months in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have released a statement confirming the manager’s dismissal, admitting after ‘lengthy deliberation and consideration’ a decision has been made to move the club forward in a new direction.
Owner Roman Abramovich has also commented on the decision, thanking Lampard for his services and insisting the 42-year-old’s status at Chelsea remains ‘undiminished’ despite the Blues’ faltering fortunes this season.
Speaking on the decision, he 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.”
Lampard received plenty of plaudits during a debut season in charge that delivered a top four finish and FA Cup final, achieving the feats despite the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and a FIFA-imposed transfer ban at Stamford Bridge.
The club’s record goalscorer also successfully integrated several academy graduates into the first-team squad including the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, but expectations changed after spending lavishly during the summer and a lack of clear identity and improvement has now prompted change.
No decision has yet been made on a replacement with a number of names having been linked with the position, including RB Leipzig’s highly-rated coach Julian Nagelsmann and former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel.