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The 10m cost of axing of Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti

07 Jan 2011 08:25:11

The 10m cost of axing of Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti

Roman Abramovich is keeping faith with manager Carlo Ancelotti, but Chelsea's owner is growing concerned about missing out on the top four. The Barclays Premier League champions are languishing at fifth in the table after Wednesday's defeat at Wolves - nine points behind leaders Manchester United, with a game fewer left to play. Chelsea's players were stunned into silence by their display at Molineux, with their hopes of defending the title they won last season vanishing fast. Under pressure: Carlo Ancelotti must arrest Chelsea's worrying slump Abramovich, however, is determined to give Ancelotti every chance to turn the campaign around, starting with their defence of the FA Cup which begins on Sunday against Ipswich. Almost every decision the Chelsea owner has made in recent months has been driven by costs and he is reluctant to swallow another hefty compensation bill for sacking the Italian manager, especially after working so hard to lure to Stamford Bridge from AC Milan in the first place. Ancelotti has 18 months left on his £6million-a-year contract. Together with his trusted sidekick Bruno Demichelis and fitness coach Giovani Mauri, whose futures are directly linked to the manager, a severance package could cost Abramovich the thick end of £10m. This would have quite an impact on the attempt to balance the books, which Chelsea are hoping to do this time next year. The accounts for last season are expected this month, with a loss in the region of £40m forecast, but the next set of accounts will include the trimming of the wage bill and bonus scheme, staff cuts and new sponsorship deals struck with Adidas and Singha. Sacking the management team and recruiting a new one would blow a massive hole in the prudent budgeting of chief executive Ron Gourlay. The same goes for spending big in this month's transfer market, despite a general consensus at the club that new signings are badly needed. Shock to the system: Wolves celebrate their winning goal against Chelsea Chelsea have bid £17m for Benfica's David Luiz but it has been rejected and Abramovich refuses to be held to ransom. Alternatives include Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka but Ancelotti remains unconvinced. With finance as the driving force, it means the main aim for Ancelotti must qualify for next year's Champions League because failure for the first time since the Abramovich takeover. Failure would cost millions in appearance money, broadcasting revenue and merchandising sales, not to mention the impact on global merchandising. Despite this definite priority, Ancelotti will not be expected to lose at home to Ipswich on Sunday. He expected to produce major trophies and another defeat will pile extra pressure on him and sink morale further. The manager has retained the backing of his senior players, in particular John Terry and Frank Lampard, who accept the squad must perform far better than they have in recent weeks. A threadbare squad means Ancelotti's options are limited but he may be tempted to make some changes in terms of personnel and perhaps formation in the FA Cup tie, with Daniel Sturridge making his case in a reserve game against Tottenham on Thursday. With the manager looking on, Sturridge scored five in a 7-3 win against Spurs, his hat-trick coming in the first 10 minutes. Sturridge, 21, has not started a game or scored a goal in the Barclays Premier League this season and has grown frustrated at what he considers to be a lack of opportunities.  The Friday Five: Loan stars who hit the heights in the Premier LeagueChelsea receive nearly £500k in World Cup compensation from FIFA  Explore more:People: Roman Abramovich, Carlo Ancelotti, John Terry, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard, Daniel Sturridge


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