February 23, 2017

Claudio Ranieri sacked from Leicester City

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Just one point above the relegation zone, Leicester City's owners opted to part company with manager Claudio Ranieri.

Claudio Ranieri was fired as the manager of defending Premier League champion Leicester City Thursday, just nine months after guiding the club to the most improbable finish in the history of sports.

The club’s Thai owners took the drastic action Thursday with Leicester City sitting just one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining. No defending champion has been relegated the following season in the history of the Premier League.

“We are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment,” Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, the team’s vice chairman, said, “no matter how strong that might be.”

Last season, Leicester City captured the hearts of football fans across the globe after their squad of journeyman and castoff players won the Premier League at odds of 5,000-1. Just last month, Ranieri was voted the FIFA coach of the year.

The Italian manager has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as his club tumbled closer and closer to relegation, reports have also circulated saying Ranieri has lost the Leicester City locker room. The club qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League — it lost, 2-1, to Sevilla in the first leg on Wednesday.

“His status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time is without question,” a club statement said of Ranieri. “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.”

The Foxes have not scored a goal in six games in 2017, and the club could be in the relegation zone by the time they play their next match, they’ll face off against Liverpool at home on Monday.

The assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and the first-team coach Mike Stowell have been placed in temporary charge of the side.

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