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Men’s football Tory out of a job after failing to keep a rich oligarch happy

CHELSEA parted ways with manager Frank Lampard today — a rare sacking of a Tory due to poor performance — with his job set to be outsourced to a German coach with more experience.

Lampard, who said he was “fascinated” by former US president Donald Trump in 2016 and that he is “a very, very interesting character,” ultimately paid the price for a mixed second season in charge and failure to get the best out of high-profile summer-signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

Having guided the Blues to a top-four finish last season, a run of two wins in the last eight Premier League games saw Russian club owner Roman Abramovich flex his muscles and end the project after 18 months.

In a rare move, Abramovich explained his decision to sack the club favourite, a high achiever as a player, saying: “[Lampard] 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.”

The role will be given to German manager Thomas Tuchel, recently sacked by French club Paris Saint-Germain.

While former club and international teammates felt the sacking was harsh given his lack of time in charge, many on social media pointed out that Lampard was given the job after only a year in charge at Derby and questioned whether his hiring was a case of using his name and contacts in the game to land such a high-profile job.

His uncle, Harry Redknapp, has admitted that he got him the gig at Derby  — and nearly got him a job at Ipswich, only for his nephew to baulk at the “difficult” prospect of managing a club that was on hard times.

“First off, I got Frank the job at Ipswich with Marcus Evans,” Redknapp told Sky Sports in May. “I phoned him, I said: ‘You need a manager, Frank Lampard’s your man.’ He met him, loved him, offered him the job.

“Frank said: ‘Harry, they’ve got no budget, it’s difficult, I can’t bring any players in.’ I said it was a great club but you’ve not got a magic wand, you’re going to need a bit of help.

“Suddenly the Derby job became available, and I rung Mel Morris, he’s got a house up the road from me. He told me he was going to go for an experienced manager, I said: ‘You keep getting managers and getting rid of them, you’ve not been very clever at picking managers. Take Frank Lampard.’

“He thought about having him as an assistant, but I said ‘he wants to be a manager, please meet him.’ The next day he met him in London, they had a meeting at seven o’clock; half-past eight he rung me and said he’d blown him away. ‘I’ve given him the job.’ And that was it.”


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