Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City manager, nine months after guiding the club to the first top-flight trophy in their 133-year history. Ranieri returned to East Midlands Airport from Seville to be given the news by Leicester’s director of football Jon Rudkin in a ruthless move which has stunned football as much as their remarkable title win.
The 65-year-old has struggled throughout a feeble title defence, bewildering players with tactics and team selection and allegedly marginalising backroom staff, but Leicester’s Thai owners are still facing severe criticism after opting to dismiss the Italian.
With Leicester only a point off the Premier League’s relegation zone, the club have acted in a desperate attempt to avoid relegation to the Championship. The decision comes less than 24 hours after a creditable 2-1 defeat by Sevilla in the Champions League round of 16 first leg.
Here we take a look at Ranieri’s time in charge of Leicester:
July 13 – Ranieri is appointed as Nigel Pearson’s successor to much surprise, with fan and ex-Leicester striker Gary Lineker tweeting “Claudio Ranieri? Really?”
August 8 – The Italian starts his reign at the King Power Stadium with a 4-2 win over Sunderland.
November 21 – Leicester go top after a 3-0 win at Newcastle.
November 28 – Jamie Vardy breaks the Premier League record when he scores in his 11th consecutive game in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
December 26 – Leicester suffer their second defeat of the season when they lose 1-0 at Liverpool.
January 16 – A 1-1 draw at Aston Villa sends Leicester back to the top of the table.
February 6 – Robert Huth scores twice and Riyad Mahrez once as Leicester beat Manchester City 3-1 to go five points clear.
February 14 – Danny Welbeck scores an injury-time winner as Arsenal beat the Foxes 2-1 and close the gap on Ranieri’s side to just two points. It was Leicester’s last defeat of the season as they win eight of their last 12 games.
May 2 – Leicester defy pre-season odds of 5,000-1 and win the Premier League after Tottenham blow a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Chelsea and leave the Foxes seven points clear with two games left.
May 7 – Captain Wes Morgan and Ranieri lift the Premier League trophy following a 3-1 win over Everton and a final day 1-1 draw at Chelsea sees the Leicester win the title by a staggering 10 points.
June 23 – Vardy rejects a £20million move to Arsenal and agrees a new contract with the Foxes.
July 16 – Influential midfielder N’Golo Kante completes a move to Chelsea.
August 10 – Ranieri extends his contract at Leicester until 2020, saying: “I am sure we can continue to be successful together.”
August 13 – The champions start their defence with a 2-1 defeat at newly promoted Hull and they go on to win lose four of their opening eight games – one more than they did in their entire title-winning campaign.
August 17 – Mahrez pens a new four-year deal, having won the PFA Player of the Year last season for his 17 goals in Leicester’s title triumph.
August 31 – Striker Islam Slimani joins from Sporting Lisbon for a club record £30million – the third time Leicester broke their transfer record in the summer having signed Nampalys Mendy for £13million and Ahmed Musa for £16million.
September 14 – Leicester open their first ever Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win at Club Brugge. They go on to win the group.
February 7 – Leicester offer Ranieri their ” unwavering support” following increased speculation of unrest at the club.
February 12 – A 2-0 defeat to Swansea leaves the champions just a point above the relegation zone, with Ranieri admitting he had been too loyal to his misfiring players.
February 18 – Shaun Cummings’ last-minute strike for 10-man League One side Millwall knocks Leicester out of the FA Cup.
February 22 – Leicester lose 2-1, but score a potentially-crucial away goal through Vardy, in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with Sevilla.
February 23 – Leicester, without a Premier League win since New Year’s Eve, sack Ranieri.