Duncan Castles, journalist-troll extraordinaire, has been pushing the Conte-out narrative since at least last summer, if not earlier, and it looks like he will finally have his ‘told-you-so’ moment this summer, with Conte widely expected to leave by everyone except Conte himself. At least in public.
But Castles knows better via his mysterious sources, the kind of sources who can unerringly divine the deepest, darkest internal thoughts of man. Castles says Conte actually “expects to be dismissed” — maybe he’s taken a hint by opening a paper in the last 6-12 months and/or paid attention to the constant stream of questions about this in his own press conferences? — and he is “ready to make Chelsea pay” the full “STAGGERING” £10m severance (i.e. the remaining guaranteed salary on his contract).
Antonio Conte expects Chelsea to honor the terms of the contract they agreed last summer.
Stop. The. Presses.
How dare he! The absolute cheek of him. He should agree to a one-year £10m termination like a certain Jose Mourinho. Oh wait...
So, there really isn’t anything new in this “exclusive” from Castles, but it sure paints Conte in a negative light as a money-grubbing malcontent. “Conte is readying to take a sabbatical from management in the knowledge that it will be bankrolled by a club whose hierarchy he has spent much of the last two years in conflict with.” LOL. But we should expect nothing less from a Jose Mourinho / Jorge Mendes lackey.
Conte may or may not leave, but if he does and does so without resigning, he will be entitled to the rest of his pay, at least until he takes a new job or the length of the cancelled contract passes, whichever comes first. That’s how severance works. That’s partly why Conte only signed a three-year initial deal and why only a raise rather than an extension was agreed upon last summer. Even though Abramovich loses more than that running for the bus, no one’s made it rich by spending frivolously. Abramovich has learned that the hard way in football, paying massive amounts to Mourinho, Scolari, Villas-Boas, Di Matteo, etc.
Here’s a good way to save some money: don’t fire the head coach and then pay almost as much as the severance to hire a downgrade.