Bates comes out to bat for Ranieri

The former Chelsea chairman, Ken Bates, believes the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, has made the manager, Claudio Ranieri, suffer "the death of a thousand cuts" by not admitting whether he faces the sack this summer.

The former Chelsea chairman, Ken Bates, believes the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, has made the manager, Claudio Ranieri, suffer "the death of a thousand cuts" by not admitting whether he faces the sack this summer.

Bates, whose controlling stake in the London club was bought by Abramovich last July, had a ruthless reputation where his managers were concerned - sacking Gianluca Vialli in September 2000 despite the Italian winning the FA Cup four months earlier.

However, Bates - now looking to invest in Sheffield Wednesday - insists he never left the axe hanging in the way Abramovich apparently has. "I've sacked a few managers in my time but I've done it 'bang-out'. I haven't done the death of a thousand cuts - if you want to change your manager, you change your manager. There's a way to do it and a way not to do it," he said.

"Claudio Ranieri is a proud man and I think he's done a great job. He might have done even better if I'd have been in charge because he wouldn't have been under the kind of disloyal pressure he's had to put up with over the past nine months."

Bates believes Chelsea has become a playground for "mercenary" players aware of the near-limitless depth of Abramovich's pockets. He pointed to how few of the signings made since the Russian's buy-out feature regularly in the first team, with only three of the starting XI in the Champions' League semi-final second leg against Monaco arriving post-Abramovich.

"The danger at Chelsea is that no one worthwhile will come here, they will only come for the money not for the affection," Bates said. "Some of the players they've signed this season are only highly-paid mercenaries, they don't give a damn about Chelsea. They give a damn about their wage packets and it's interesting that not many of the players that have been signed [post-Abramovich] have made it into the team successfully."

The club's chief executive, Peter Kenyon, branded the season a "failure" on Tuesday night at a Supporters' Night Out dinner. However, he added: "There has been no decision taken on Claudio Ranieri and no new manager appointed.

"We conduct our discussions privately with Claudio and are not about to change that. If you do not believe me that's unfortunate. The decision will be taken over the next few weeks."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence