Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich says Frank Lampard’s status as a Chelsea icon ‘remains undiminished’ despite his dismissal after just 18 months as head coach.
Lampard’s 18-month reign in the Chelsea hot seat came to an end yesterday after he was sacked by the club.
The 42-year-old guided the Blues to a fourth-place finish last season despite being hampered by a transfer ban, but was unable to build on that platform in the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.
Summer signings, such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, have struggled to adapt to their new surroundings, with Lampard ultimately unable to find the optimal system to bring the best out of a talent pool costing over £200 million (£273m).
Chelsea are currently sitting eighth in the Premier League standings having lost five of their last eight games, including a dismal 2-0 reversal at Leicester City last week.
A 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Luton Town proved to be the final game for Lampard, who has seen his initial three-year contract cut short at the halfway point.
Abramovich, who has never previously released a statement after axing a manager, paid tribute to a club legend in the wake of his departure, insisting that, although a tough decision had to be taken, he still enjoys the full respect of the board.
“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,” the Russian billionaire’s statement on Chelsea’s official website reads.
“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.”
Frank Lampard sacked as Chelsea manager; Thomas Tuchel lined up as replacement. pic.twitter.com/wMQUcBj3MH
— Olawale Ayeni (@VjWale) January 25, 2021
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s fans in Nigeria have taken to social media to react to the dismissal of Mr Lampard which did not come as a surprise to them, saying the club’s ambition is paramount.
Really sorry for Frank Lampard. He is still going to be a great coach. He needs more time. — Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) January 25, 2021
I don’t pity Frank Lampard because he did worse as a player to play a role in jeopardizing and frustrating poorly-performing managers and getting them sacked. He’s lucky he even had players and back room staff members who respected him. — Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) January 25, 2021
Chelsea supporters will probably be having conversations about Tuchel (or whoever comes in) 18 months from now, maybe sooner. The club has to stick to its guns at some point. — Seye Omidiora (@theReal_SeyE) January 25, 2021
we Love you, but we Love Chelsea even more. #Farewell Lampard — KAYMIGHTY™ 🇨🇦🇨🇦 (@Am_mighty) January 25, 2021
Thank you Lampard, wish you the best of luck. My opinion, good decision for everyone involved. At @ChelseaFC the standard is high and that’s the way it should be. — David Aderinokun (@daderinokun) January 25, 2021
@ChelseaFC thank you for finally doing the needful. Lampard, well done and wish you the best but Chelsea needs to move forward. #byelampard— Wemziee (@umoh16) January 25, 2021