Leicester City caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare has denied rumours suggesting it was a player revolt that led to manager Claudio Ranieri’s firing.
BBC Sport reports that several players were summoned to meet the club’s chairman after the 2-1 Champions League loss to Sevilla, and that Ranieri’s fate was effectively sealed as a result of what the players said in that meeting.
But Shakespeare, who will take care of Leicester while the club finds a new permanent boss, insists that Ranieri did not lose the confidence of his players.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 24, 2017
“There was a lot of frustration because of the results, but he had not lost the dressing room,” Shakespeare said.
“A lot of the talk of unrest has been speculation. I’ve not had one problem with the players.
“I always feel sorry when people lose their jobs. I’m not aware of the club having spoken to any candidates. My relationship with Claudio has been fine all along.
“I spoke to him last night and he thanked me for my support throughout. It was not brief and we exchanged views. A lot of what we said will stay private.”
Leicester sacked Ranieri on Thursday, just nine months after he led the club to the Premier League title.
The reigning champions currently find themselves in 17th place in the league, just one point above the drop zone.
They were knocked out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to Millwall in the fifth round, and are a goal down ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Sevilla.
Shakespeare acknowledged that it was very sad to lose Ranieri, but said the decision had to be respected.
“Whether I think it’s right or not is irrelevant,” he said.
“We all know in football people lose their jobs because of results – and the results haven’t been good enough. He will get the utmost respect in terms of what he has achieved with this club.”