Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City Manager.
The decision to dismiss the man who led them to arguably the greatest triumph in English football history was made after Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat in Seville.
The 65-year-old’s appointment was met with criticism when he replaced Nigel Pearson in July 2015 but he inspired a team which had narrowly escaped relegation to their first-ever Premier League title.
His remarkable achievement with a squad worth just £55million saw him named FIFA Coach of the Year.
But the Italian was unable to replicate his success this season.
While Leicester initially shone in the Champions League — winning their group — they desperately struggled in the Premier League.
The Foxes are yet to score a goal in the Premier League in 2017 and have picked up just one point from a possible 18.
They needed a replay and extra-time to get past Derby in the FA Cup fourth round only to be humbled by Millwall of League One in the last 16.
Ranieri led the club to their first ever Premier League title last season
Despite their woeful form, Leicester had continued to back Ranieri and gave their beleaguered boss a vote of confidence earlier this month.
A club statement read: ‘Leicester City would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for Claudio Ranieri.
‘While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the Club that recent form needs to improve, the unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome even the greatest of challenges.
‘The entire club is and will remain united behind its manager and behind its players, collectively and firmly focused on the challenges ahead.’
Ranieri reaffirmed his commitment to the club in the build-up to the Champions League last-16 tie in Seville, suggesting that he could have left Leicester in the summer but decided to stay put.
He said: ‘I could leave last season, I won the title and I had something with other teams but I wanted to stay here because I knew it was a difficult year.
‘I came here to build, to build something good for Leicester, for everybody. I keep going, I maintain my mind in this way. I forget the title and I want to achieve something good for the fans, chairman and the city.’
Even after Wednesday night’s defeat — in which Jamie Vardy scored a late away goal after Kasper Schmeichel had saved a penalty to keep Leicester in the tie — Ranieri vowed that his side were ready to ‘do battle’ in the second leg.
Ranieri said: ‘At the end if we are a little more calm on the counter attack we can do something more. With the match at home everything is open, we are ready to battle.’
Source: Daily Mail