Frank Lampard sacked by Chelsea
Players had been told not to arrive for training until the afternoon.
Chelsea has been sacked as manager Frank Lampard after a dismal start to the season and a disappointing return on massive investment during the summer.
The club announced, shortly after 11am, that they had 'parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard'. A club statement reads:
'This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.
'We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.'
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich commented, "This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
"He 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.
"On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge."
The news had leaked out a couple of hours before the official announcement. According to the Telegraph, Chelsea's first team squad have been told to stay at home until the afternoon, suggesting Lampard's departure could come sooner rather than later.
Chelsea sit ninth in the Premier League, with five defeats in their last eight league matches, and pressure is known to have been building on the club legend since a 3-1 defeat to struggling London rivals Arsenal.
Much was expected of Lampard after Chelsea backed him extensively during the summer transfer window, bringing in Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy and Hakin Ziyech to a squad which finished in the Champions League places last season.
However, out of all those signings, only Chilwell has settled well and impressed consistently. Werner and Havertz, two high-profile acquisitions from the Bundesliga who it was hoped would form a new creative fulcrum for the side, have failed to settle.
Havertz, Lampard has said, has struggled with fitness during his recovery from Covid-19. Mendy initially impressed after coming in for the hapless Kepa Arrizabalaga, but has looked less secure in the recent weeks.
Former Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has been heavily linked with the job, and is expected to be named as Lampard's replacement as rumours have circulated regarding Lampard's future in recent weeks.