Roman Abramovich releases statement after sacking Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss

Roman Abramovich has addressed his sacking of Frank Lampard at Chelsea.

The billionaire businessman and politician rarely comments on dealings at Stamford Bridge with director Marina Granovskaia taking the lead, but he felt the need to speak on Monday.

Many Blues supporters have been left shocked by the timing of Lampard’s departure following their FA Cup win over Luton on Sunday, but their Premier League form has proved decisive.

Chelsea sit ninth in the table and four points behind the top four after losing five of their last eight matches in the competition, including against Leicester last Tuesday.

Abramovich said: “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.”

After the club had stated: “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.”

Only yesterday Lampard thanked fans for a banner that supported him by saying: “I knew about the banner a week or two ago directly from the people who put it together.

“They're obviously huge supporters of this club and it was very appreciated.

“One thing I know when I'm at the Bridge, I'm at the club I love and have always had huge support as a player and as a manager.”

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