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Friday, February 24, 2017

In a volcanic eruption of sort, Leicester City fires Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City manager just nine months after leading the club to the greatest triumph in its 133-year history.

Leicester City took the astonishing decision to sack Claudio Ranieri on Thursday night only nine months after the Italian guided them to the greatest title win in English football history. The club's Thai owners appeared to back their manager earlier this month when they insisted his position at the club was secure. He was given their 'unwavering support'. 

But after a Champions League defeat in Seville followed six Premier League games without scoring, Ranieri was summoned to the King Power Stadium. There, Leicester confirmed the brutal call to part company. The East Midlands side defied the odds to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time last May in a fairytale season. But the club said its place in the top flight was now "under threat".

Coach Claudio Ranieri of  Leicester City
The Foxes have won just five league games and are currently languishing in 17th place with 21 points, one point above the relegation zone. They have just 13 more games to try to ensure survival in the top tier. They lost 2-1 to Sevilla in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Wednesday. Leicester's vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: "This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. "But we are duty-bound to put the club's long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be."
 
He paid tribute to Ranieri, highlighting his "skillful management, powers of motivation and measured approach", adding: "We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve."

"It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games."

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