Chelsea Football Club has announced it has sacked manager Avram Grant after 8 months in charge. The news comes three days after the team finished its season with a loss to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final. Grant was named manager and given a four year contract after the depature of Jose Mourinho earlier this season, and had managed to lead the club to a second place finish in the Premier League, along with appearances in the Carling Cup and Champions League finals. However, a lack of actual silverware (Chelsea’s first season without a trophy in four years) appears to have been his final undoing.
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck was quoted hours before by the Press Association as saying “Although we never would have thought in September when Jose Mourinho left that we would be able to make it into a Champions League Final – as we did, and that is fantastic – Chelsea is here to win trophies so, although it was an excellent season, we are still disappointed.” He also indicated that some of the club’s current players would be cleared out to reduce team size in the summer transfer window.
With Grant no longer in charge, speculation is already rife on who will follow him. The early names being floated around include recently sacked Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard, current Russian National Team coach Guus Hiddink, Inter coach Roberto Mancini, and the currently under-fire Sven-Goran Eriksson of Manchester City. There is no word as of yet on the fate of the current Chelsea coaching staff.