On this day in 2011, Chelsea sacked head coach Carlo Ancelotti, a year after he led the club to a domestic double.
The Italian, then aged 51, won the Premier League title and FA Cup with the Blues in 2010 but was ruthlessly sacked by club owner Roman Abramovich after failing to lift the trophy the following season.
The Blues finished second in the title race, nine points behind Manchester United after relegation to the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, and Ancelotti fell victim to his earlier success.
Chelsea finished empty-handed for the first time in three years and the club said in a statement: “Performance this season has not lived up to expectations and the club believes it is time to make this change in preparation for next season.”
Loyalty to managers has never been a characteristic feature of Abramovich.
Following a 1-0 loss to Everton on the final day of the season, Ancelotti had just given his post-match press conference when chief executive Ron Gourlay reportedly took him aside in the Goodison Park hallway and broke the news. .
Ancelotti’s sacking left Chelsea looking for their seventh manager in the eight years since Abramovich took over the club in 2003.
The Russian billionaire interrupted Jose Mourinho’s first leadership four months after he won back-to-back trophies.
Both of Ancelotti’s predecessors, Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari, and his successor, André Villas-Boas, were fired within eight months.
Ancelotti, who won the Champions League twice with former club Milan before joining Stamford Bridge, went on to coach Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern, Napoli and Everton.
He returned to Real Madrid in 2021 and, after leading them to the national crown, became the first manager to win a title in each of Europe’s top five leagues – Serie A, Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and La Liga.