Manager Claudio Ranieri has launched a scathing attack on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, saying the Russian tycoon knows nothing about football and wanted to sack him as soon as he took over the club.
The Italian, who tonight leads his side into a Champions League semi-final clash against Monaco, claims Abramovich had always wanted to appoint England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.
“Ever since he arrived at the club Abramovich wanted Eriksson,” Ranieri told Marca.
“From the very start. They even met in the summer.
“But Eriksson said he couldn’t leave the England team and so the next day Abramovich met me and told me: ‘OK, you’ve done a good job these last few years and you are going to carry on.'”
However, Ranieri believes that even victory in the Champions League will not be enough to prevent his sacking.
“Look I already have the Abramovich sword embedded in me,’ Ranieri added.
‘I’m convinced that even if I win the Champions League I will be sacked.”
Marca said the interview was carried out on April 8.
“Abramovich knows nothing about football,” added Ranieri.
“That’s the real shame. If he had understood what my side had achieved that season he would have valued me more highly. We did it all without any money.”
Abramovich has lavished some £110m on new players this season, but Ranieri believes that the Russian doesn’t appreciate the difficulties of building a team from scratch.
“It was a very tough job to sign so many players and get them to play together. Abramovich didn’t realise that. He thought I’ll sign that one and that one and then we will win.”