Saturday, December 10, 2022

Wilkins opens up over Chelsea sacking

Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has spoken candidly for the first time about his sacking from the London club last month.

And the 54-year-old has refuted speculation a boardroom bust-up with the club’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was to blame for his dismissal.

Wilkins conceded he had exchanged some heated words with Abramovich after Chelsea’s 3-1 aggregate loss to Inter Milan at the Round of 16 stage of last season’s Champions League, but said he did not consider the exchange a falling out.

“I don’t think I fell out with him at all,” Wilkins told Sky Sports. “I think if that was the case, then I would have been removed from my position immediately.”

“There wasn’t so much a row, there was a discussion.”

“I think everybody was, immediately after the game, a bit pent up and we’d been knocked out of the Champions League by Inter Milan, who are a very good side and who over two games deservedly beat us.”

“I think we’re big enough to come away from that situation but we’ve moved on from there and we’ve won the double but obviously the owner felt that there was need of a change, and he made that change.”

Wilkins rejoined Chelsea – where he spent six years as a player in the 1970s – under the stewardship of former manager Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2008 and was kept on by his replacement Carlo Ancelotti.

Wilkins claimed he is yet to be given a reason for his sacking, which happened at half-time during a Chelsea reserves game, but said his dismissal was part and parcel of football. He and the club agreed to a settlement on December 1.

“These things happen – you just have to accept it, because nothing should ever surprise you anymore in football,” Wilkins said.

“The reason hasn’t been given, so I’m still waiting for that.”

“We always want to know why, but if it isn’t forthcoming we’ve got to get on with our lives.”

“I’ve no problems. I was privileged to be part of something that was very special and was a great adventure.”

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