Image: www.sportal.co.nz

Italian tactician, Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City Boss, nine months after he guided the foxes to their first ever Premier League title.

Ranieri was appointed Leicester manager in July 2015 and guided the team to avoid relegation before leading them to their first top-flight trophy in their 133-year history.

According to a club statement on Thursday evening, the Italian gaffer and Leicester have parted ways.

“Leicester City Football Club has tonight [Thursday] parted company with its first team manager, Claudio Ranieri.

“Claudio, appointed City manager in July 2015, led the Foxes to the greatest triumph in the club’s 133-year history last season, as we were crowned champions of England for the first time. His status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time is without question.

“However, domestic results in the current campaign have placed the club’s Premier League status under threat, and the board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the club’s greatest interest.”

Leicester City Vice President, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha noted that the club decided to put Club interests above sentiments and therefore parted ways with the former Chelsea Boss.

He said: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City.

“But we are duty-bound to put the Club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be. 

“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skillful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City.

“His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the Club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve. 

“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign.

“But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.” 

Claudio Ranieri led Leicester City to an unlikely and surprising Premier League title triumph last season after he had guided the foxes to escape relegation in the penultimate season.

Ranieri went on to win the FIFA’s Coach of the Year award for 2016 to cap an amazing and extra-ordinary calendar year.

While Ranieri led Leicester to Champions League round of 16 qualification and only lost the first leg by 2 – 1 away to Sevilla on Wednesday, he and the Foxes have struggled at the home front this season. The club currently sits with a point and a position above the relegation zone.

Leicester’s poor run of form in 2017 has been alarming and disappointing. With no win in the league in 2017, Leicester have failed to register a single league goal this year.

While Ranieri succeeded in keeping most of the players who won the title last season amidst interests from top clubs, he was unable to keep hold of N’golo Kante who joined Chelsea in the summer.

In the technical department, Leicester also lost Steve Walsh, the man who helped in the discovery of Kante, Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.

Walsh left to join Everton as director of football, a move many believed as a sign of crack and friction in management.

However, Ranieri brought in a couple of players last summer to help strengthen the squad. The likes of Ahmed Musa, Islam Slimani, Papy Mendy, Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez were brought in to give the foxes some bragging rights with over £60million.

In January, Ranieri also made a couple of additions with the signing of Nigerian International, Wilfried Ndidi at a fee worth £15million and Molla Wague from Udinese

Despite the signings, Leicester has had a miserable run in the league and they were also dumped out of the FA Cup last weekend by League One side, Millwall.

Leicester’s next game is a league match against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. Leicester’s next run of games will be handled by Assistant Manager Craig Shakespeare and First Team Coach Mike Stowell until a new manager is appointed.

Assistant Manager and First Team Coach Paolo Benetti and First Team Sport Science and Conditioning Coach Andrea Azzalin have also parted company with the Club.

With the sack of Ranieri, four of the last five Premier League-winning managers have either left their jobs or sacked before the end of the following season.

Roberto Mancini (2011 – 12 winner, sacked May 2013), Sir Alex Ferguson (2012 – 13 winner, retired May 2013) and Jose Mourinho (2015 – 16 winner, sacked December 2015).

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Author: Timilehin Boyinde

Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.