Claudio Ranieri knew he was going to be sacked as Chelsea manager when Roman Abramovich arrived at the club in 2003.
The Italian, now in charge of high-flying Leicester City, was fired in mid-2004, months after the Russian billionaire took control of the Premier League club.
Ranieri, who was hired at Chelsea in 2000, said his departure was always coming after Abramovich’s arrival.
“When he arrived did I think change was inevitable? Yes, immediately,” he said ahead of Leicester’s clash against his former club on Monday.
“The sporting director Trevor Birch told me there is a new owner and I said, ‘Me and you are the first who go home.’
“You imagine, the new owner arrives and he wants to put in his own men. It is normal. The new owner wanted to change something, it is normal.”
Chelsea have gone on to win four Premier League titles since Ranieri’s departure and the 64-year-old said the club’s supporters were often thankful to him.
“When I meet some Chelsea fans, they say, ‘Thank you, you are the first one who started to build a fantastic squad,'” he said.