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Chelsea part company with assistant manager Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins
Former England midfielder Wilkins (left) started his playing career at Chelsea

Chelsea have announced they are not renewing the contract of assistant manager Ray Wilkins and that he is to leave the club with immediate effect.

Wilkins, 54, joined Chelsea's coaching staff for a second time in 2008 to work under Luiz Felipe Scolari.

He stayed when Guus Hiddink came in and remained when Carlo Ancelotti was named manager ahead of the 2009-2010 season.

Chelsea's chief executive Ron Gourlay said: "I would like to thank Ray for everything he has done for Chelsea."

He added: "We all wish him well for the future."

No reason has been given for the decision not to renew the contract of Wilkins.

The former England midfielder enjoyed a distinguished playing career with the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan, QPR and Rangers after making his Chelsea debut as a 17-year-old in 1973.

He managed QPR and Fulham in the mid-1990s before two spells as Chelsea's assistant coach, helping Gianluca Vialli in 1999 and 2000 before rejoining in September 2008.

Wilkins was on the bench for the club's 1-0 win over Fulham on Wednesday.

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Chelsea are the reigning Premier League champions, and top this season's table with just under a third of the fixtures gone.

Wilkins is a fluent Italian speaker and has been credited with maintaining strong links between the players and the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge.

In Ancelotti's autobiography, which was published two months ago, the Chelsea manager said Wilkins was a key part of the London club's recent success.

"Ray is one of those select few, always present, noble in spirit, a real blue-blood, Chelsea flows in his veins. His heart beats in two languages, and that helped me," he wrote.

"Without him, we couldn't have won a thing, and in particular we would not have started the year at supersonic speed."

Chelsea won the FA Cup in 2009 with Wilkins as assistant coach and claimed the Premier League and FA Cup double last season.



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see also
Win was for Ancelotti - Wilkins
03 Oct 10 |  Chelsea
Wilkins defends Scolari tactics
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Wilkins looking for manager's job
21 Jun 05 |  Millwall
Wilkins gets Chelsea post
27 Mar 99 |  FA Carling Premiership


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