After two months of stringing everybody along — in part a measure of personal “revenge” against Conte, as described in Matt Law’s “inside story of Conte’s downfall” — Chelsea have decided to complicate things further by sacking Conte without apparently paying him the due compensation that was agreed in the contract signed last summer. And it’s not just Conte the club have stiffed on the payout, but the rest of the staff who were fired alongside him as well — the only survivors are Carlo Cudicini, and perhaps fitness coach Paolo Bertelli and goalkeeping coach Gianluca Spinelli.
After two months of trying to do this for free by hoping that Conte takes a new job, it’s perhaps the logical conclusion to Chelsea’s intentions. A cheap move, literally and figuratively, which is now set to extend the end-game of the Conte era into further negotiations and possibly the courts as well. As if this whole situation weren’t shambolic enough, we’ve now felt the need to drag it through the courts as well.
While Law’s report is a bit vague on the details of this potential legal fight — Conte’s disgust is not basis for any sort of legal battle — Italian sources, such as Gianluca Di Marzio reveal that Chelsea are claiming “just cause” for the sacking, pointing to Conte’s handling of wantaway Diego Costa’s exit, his deteriorating relationship with the players (that’s never happened before!), and his “behavior” (battle for control, lack of communication, both two-way streets) in general. If those sound like frivolous reasons for claiming a breach of contract, you’re probably right. Conte calling in the lawyers at this point is only to be expected.
Meanwhile, still nothing has been announced or confirmed officially.
Congratulations to all involved for managing to make this a shameful, shambolic end to one of the greatest coaches in club history.