Wilkins and Chelsea reach 'amicable' resolution


Soccer:Ray Wilkins and Chelsea have reached what both described as an "amicable" resolution over his controversial departure from the club.

Wilkins last month lost his job as assistant manager at Stamford Bridge, a decision he later branded an "undoubtedly unfair dismissal". The 54-year-old former club captain called in the lawyers and a settlement has now been reached with the Premier League champions.

Wilkins, who joined Luiz Felipe Scolari's Chelsea coaching team in September 2008 and helped them win their first ever double last season under Carlo Ancelotti, said in a statement on the League Managers Association's official website: "It has obviously been a big wrench leaving such an illustrious club and one which has played such a huge role in my playing and coaching career.

"I have great affection for the club, the staff, the players and its supporters and wish them all the very best for the remainder of this season and the future. I would also like to thank the club and the LMA for ensuring that matters have been brought to a swift and harmonious conclusion."

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said on the club's official website: "I am pleased to announce that we have come to a swift and amicable agreement with Ray Wilkins and all unresolved matters have now been settled.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ray for his service to the club and wish him all the best for the future."

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: "All parties are delighted that an agreement has been reached in a cordial and professional manner. I am sure that a manager of Ray's experience will be back involved in a managerial or coaching capacity soon."

Wilkins abruptly left Stamford Bridge on November 11th after being told his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season, would not be renewed. He was replaced a week later by Michael Emenalo, Chelsea's former opposition scout.

Ancelotti raised doubts about the Nigerian's role when he said Emenalo would not actually be involved in coaching the first team, although he has sat on the bench during matches.

Despite the resolution, there remain plenty of unanswered questions about Wilkins' exit.

Ancelotti made it clear two weeks ago the decisions to remove the former England captain and install Emenalo were not his own and the Italian was forced to deny reports he was considering his own position.

Ancelotti will also lose sporting director Frank Arnesen at the end of the season, with the Dane having announced his resignation at the weekend.

Arnesen was keen to stress he had not been forced out of the club by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, insisting moving on was entirely his own decision.