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Saturday, November 20, 2010
Ray Wilkins taking legal advice over Chelsea exit

Ray Wilkins has claimed he was the victim of ''undoubtedly unfair dismissal'' from Chelsea and is taking legal advice in an attempt to reach ''an amicable solution''.

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Wilkins abruptly left his role of first-team coach with the Premier League champions last week after being told his contract would not be renewed.

He has since been replaced by Michael Emenalo, the club's former opposition scout, but manager Carlo Ancelotti raised doubts about his role when he said the Nigerian would not actually be involved in coaching the first team.

The questions over what happened behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge will now only intensify as Wilkins spoke for the first time since his departure from the club.

''I am very disappointed that the board decided that I had no further contribution to make at Chelsea Football Club which has played such a huge part in my life,'' said Wilkins in the statement released by the League Managers Association.

''Since rejoining the club, I am extremely proud to have assisted in Chelsea's recent successes. I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the staff, players and the supporters and I now wish them all the very best for the future.

''The LMA's legal advisors are assisting me in obtaining answers to a number of questions arising from my undoubtedly unfair dismissal, and all efforts are being made to reach an amicable solution. I therefore will be making no further comment at this stage.''

Wilkins returned to Stamford Bridge in September 2008, initially under Luiz Felipe Scolari, and helped the club lift the FA Cup twice as well as claiming the Premier League crown last season.

His sudden departure raised eyebrows across football as he had enjoyed success not only under Scolari but subsequently with Guus Hiddink and Ancelotti.

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said: ''Ray's departure from the club was certainly a surprise given the success that Chelsea enjoyed after his arrival, and the fact that they are reigning Barclays Premier League champions, and currently top this season's table.

''He has enjoyed an illustrious career to date which began with Chelsea and I share his disappointment and sadness at his leaving the club.''

A Chelsea spokesman said: ''We are having amicable discussions with Ray's legal advisors. Although the matter is confidential, we can say that we have told Ray and his advisors that we will honour the termination provisions in Ray's contract.''

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