One way or another Antonio Conte is expected to be leaving Chelsea this summer — although he did pledge recently to do better next season, should he still find himself in the Stamford Bridge hot seat come August — so when “news” of his sacking popped on Twitter this morning, they were not hard to believe. Chelsea have, after all, all but mathematically dropped out of the race for the top four, crashed out of the Champions League in the first knockout round, and failed to win two London derbies in a row at home to add to a miserable run of results over the last 20 or so matches.
Looking likely that Antonio Conte has left Chelsea. #CFC— Pete O'Rourke (@SportsPeteO) April 9, 2018
Once of Sky, now mostly of ESPN, O’Rourke’s tweet (if that’s truly his own personal account) sent ‘Chelsea Twitter’ into a mini-frenzy. Many others piggybacked onto it, including one Diego Martinez, supposedly a Spanish freelance journalist with a rather vague and generic profile picture who may or may not have gotten lucky with a transfer rumor once before. His version was slightly more dramatic.
The Chelsea board have decided to sack Antonio Conte with immediate effect. #CFC— Diego Martinez (@DiegoMSport) April 9, 2018
At this point, the confirmed “real” journalists got in on the action, bringing a slight sense of normalcy back into proceedings.
This is the so-called "reporter" claiming news on Conte. Look at how many different places his profile picture is used in different forms across the internet. One for @TwitterSupport?https://t.co/hAwlphQE0F: https://t.co/PQ4IpYUWgi— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 9, 2018
Journalists with actual sources.
I am told that Antonio Conte is still at Chelsea. No truth in an imminent departure. #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 9, 2018
They may not get everything right of course, and things can change very quickly in football, but for now, there is nothing to be worried about.
Antonio Conte isn't going anywhere today, Monday 9th April (small trip to corner shop possibly excepted). Unsourced rumours to the contrary are no more than social media mischief.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) April 9, 2018
Antonio Conte thus lives to fight another day as Chelsea head coach, even if his future remains a foregone conclusion, probably.