Chelsea's regime criticised by Bates

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The Independent Football

The former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates last night criticised the manner in which Claudio Ranieri was forced out at Stamford Bridge.

The former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates last night criticised the manner in which Claudio Ranieri was forced out at Stamford Bridge.

A press conference has been called for 10am todayat which Jose Mourinho is expected to be officially unveiled as the Premiership club's new manager, following Porto's decision to release Mourinho from his contract after talks with Chelsea.

Ranieri's long-awaited departure was confirmed on Monday, freeing the West London club, and their billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, to complete a deal to bring in the man who last week guided Porto to victory in the European Cup final.

Ranieri's representatives are still in discussions with Chelsea concerning the settlement of the remainder of his contract, believed to be in excess of £6m. And it is this apparent haggling over the details of the pay-off for the Italian which rankles with the man who sold Chelsea to Abramovich last year.

"Whatever happens I think the fans will be disappointed, if not disgusted, with the way he has been treated," Bates said.

"You say: 'you have got to go, sorry about that, but thank you and here is your cheque'.

"You don't say: 'You have got to go, now we will haggle over what we owe you'.

"They might do that sort of thing in Russia, but they shouldn't do it in England. Chelsea are now coming over as a club without honour," added Bates. "I have sacked managers in my time, but I always honoured the contracts."

Bates maintains that Ranieri, who he appointed to take over from Gianluca Vialli, performed admirably given all the pressure. "I would have kept Ranieri," declared Bates. "After all, somebody who gets you second in the League and into the European Cup semi-finals with so much turbulence, background pressure and public disloyalty, has had a magnificent season."

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