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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 07:37 GMT
Chelsea explain sackings
Ray Wilkins and Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson
Happier times for Wilkins (left) alongside Hutchinson
Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson has explained why coaches Ray Wilkins and Graham Rix were dismissed as part of a major shake-up.

Blues boss Claudio Ranieri instigated the changes 11 matches after bringing in his own backroom staff.

Hutchinson insisted it was "inevitable" that some of those in the coaching set up would leave Stamford Bridge.

Hutchinson said: "The situation is relatively simple but also sad. Ray Wilkins and Graham Rix left us yesterday. Their contracts will be paid up in full.

"I think it was inevitable and in fact people at the training ground have said to me in hindsight that it should have been done from day one.

"But whatever some people might think, we try to be a caring club and we, as well as Claudio, wanted them to be integrated as part of the new set-up.

They have been kicking their heels as others have been doing the roles they were performing
  Colin Hutchinson, Chelsea MD

"It hasn't worked out though and they have been kicking their heels as others have been doing the roles they were performing.

"I think it's very unfair to them professionally that they have become sidelined and it gives them time to look around for other opportunities."


The Chelsea managing director has meanwhile reassured Mick McGiven that his job has "never been in question", while assistant manager Gwyn Williams, who has been at the club for 20 years, will also be staying put.

Goalkeeping coach Eddie Niedzwecki and fitness coach Antonio Pintus are staying but have been given slightly different roles.

Ranieri decided to make the changes after the 2-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

He first approached managing director Colin Hutchinson with his proposals and was given approval to act.

Graham Rix
Graham Rix worked under Hoddle and Vialli

Rix was right-hand man to former managers Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli, while Wilkins also played a significant coaching role with the first team under the latter.

Shortly after his appointment, Ranieri said Wilkins would help interpret for him at training sessions.

Own men

Ranieri arrived at Stamford Bridge with his own backroom staff of Salvedore Antenucci, fitness instructor Roberto Sassi and goalkeeping coach Giorgio Pellizaro.

Former Arsenal midfielder Rix was originally brought to the club as youth team coach under Glenn Hoddle seven years ago.

Ex-England skipper Wilkins had been due to leave the Blues after Rix's release from jail last March following his conviction for having under-age sex, but he was kept him on.

Some reports suggest the writing was on the wall three weeks ago when the club's staff were measured up for new suits as part of a new deal with Armani - except for Wilkins, Rix, Niedzwiecki, McGiven and Pintus.

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15 Sep 00 |  Chelsea
Ranieri ready to overcome
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