As you read this, Claudio Ranieri is alone in his vast country pile. Solemnly he sits at the head of his dining room table, steel and cold glass: a new leader of nothing. The electric cheers of May echo through his mind like ghosts from a parallel universe. All of the lights are off. How did it come to this?
Ever since the astounding news broke that the man who led Leicester City to the most unlikely of titles just last year had been sacked, the rumour mill has been in full flow, and it can now be revealed just how the Leicester players influenced the downfall of their manager.
According to The Times, the players who fought so valiantly for the Italian just last year, were key in the club's decision to relinquish him of his managerial responsibilities, with the article claiming:
- Leicester's players were unhappy with Ranieri's "frequent and unexplained changes to tactics and personnel." They also reportedly had concerns about changes to training, and the diet regime. According to The Mirror, the players were unhappy that chicken burgers had been banned. (CHICKEN BURGERS)
- The former Chelsea manager is said to have been "exasperated" by members of Leicester's backroom staff whom he inherited from Nigel Pearson, his predecessor. And frustrated by his players' apparent loss of motivation.
- The players are understood to have voiced their concerns about Ranieri in a meeting with the club's owner in Seville, following the Champions League game.
- Ranieri was told about the decision at the club's training ground on Thursday, and didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the players, as they had already left the training ground.
Is there anything sadder than that? The crowning moment of your professional life razed before your eyes. The players cruising off home in their glistening carriages while you, the man who built a nine month empire, lets the rain slowly fall on his polyester-clad shoulders.
But at least Gary Lineker got loads of likes on Twitter...
In honour of Claudio, we've chosen a selection of images of him looking sad.