But Ray Wilkins has sure been good to Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti’s former right-hand man could have easily dragged Chelsea through the mud over the disgraceful way he was canned by the club.
But instead of making a huge scene over his dismissal, Wilkins simply got his lawyers to look into the matter, and less than three weeks later, it’s case closed. They’ve reached a settlement which they’re referring to as “amicable”, and Wilkins appears to be moving on.
In a statement released yesterday, Wilkins said:
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.”
The conclusion might have been swift, but it was definitely not harmonious. The way Wilkins was fired was total BS, an absolute lack of class from the Chelsea hierarchy, and a demonstration of just how little regard they have for the concept of loyalty.
On the other hand, Wilkins’ graceful departure shows how much he loves the club, and wants it to move on without him. If I was him, I’d be going full-out against the club about now, throwing out all their dirty laundry – of which this current Chelsea administration have more than most.
I’m sure some would think that the compensation he received would be enough to make Wayne Rooney go greener than his usual Shrek-ish shade, and that’s why he’s willing to go away quietly.
Money would definitely make it a less bitter pill for Wilkins to swallow, but he could still kick up a fuss even after he’s picked up his cheque, right?
Chelsea were obligated to at least compensate him according to the termination provisions in his contract. So Wilkins was going to get some money anyway, whether he chose to take a dig or two at the club.
And he could have done some serious damage too. Stability, unity and focus are extremely important for a club to maintain success. An influential figure like Wilkins could have easily shaken things up if he wanted too.
A few hurtful comments in the press about some of the players, plus a few dirty secrets (this is the Chelsea of John Terry and Ashley Cole, after all), would’ve probably been enough to knock the club off their stride for a few weeks, which in football, can make quite the difference.
So Ray Wilkins, my hat’s off to you. After that little stunt Rooney tried with United, and what Chelsea did to you, it’s awfully good to know that there are still people in football who know what loyalty is.