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10th Apr 2017

Claudio Ranieri refused to name names but fans think they know who’s to blame for his sacking

Ranieri a class act as always

Darragh Murphy

Leicester, you absolute bastards!

We understand that football clubs are businesses and can’t afford to be overly sentimental with their managers but when the club is Leicester City and the manager is Claudio Ranieri, who had just delivered the Premier League title, then much more slack should have been cut.

Ranieri was sacked by the Foxes on 23 February after an underwhelming start to the season and stories began to circulate that a number of senior players had spoken to the club’s owners behind Ranieri’s back and expressed concern and doubt over the Italian’s ability to turn things around.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel denied those allegations while, as recently as last weekend, right-back Danny Simpson admitted that Ranieri’s decision to change the meal options for Foxes players did not go down well.

Ranieri appeared on Monday Night Football this week and his sacking was the main topic of conversation but he refused to believe that his former players had anything to do with his dismissal.

“No I can’t believe it,” Ranieri said. “I can’t believe it.

“I can believe the players didn’t give their maximum because there were other problems, other problems that were there before and, after they heard something, they doubled or tripled.

“Or maybe when you were safe at the last match and at the start of the season you are so concentrated on being solid and strong, and we started very well the year before. But when you come back in pre-season and you won the title, you go around the world and play against big teams for the first time in your life, the situation is totally different.

“I can’t believe my players killed me. No! No! No!”

Ranieri was praised for not throwing anyone under the bus…

It was thenย put to Ranieri that perhaps other figures behind-the-scenes at the King Power Stadium were to blame for his sacking.

But, again, the 65-year-old displayed incredible class and dignity in refusing to name names although he did allude to a conversation with someone at the club.

“I listened to a lot of stories about this,” he continued.

“Maybe it could be somebody behind me but I had a little problem the year before, when we won the title.

“Maybe the people this year, when we lose, they pushed a little more but that’s it.

“No I don’t want to tell (who I’m talking about). I’m a serious man, a loyal man. What I had to say, I said face-to-face.”

And while Ranieri kept shtum on those to blame for his dismissal, fans seemed to make their own minds up and believed that the man who took over from Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare, was the guilty party.