In a rare public statement following the dismissal of his 12th ‘permanent’ manager in 17-and-a-half years of ownership, Abramovich says the decision to sack Lampard – Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer – was made with a heavy heart.
“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” said Abramovich in a statement released on the Chelsea website.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future.
“He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
Lampard leaves after 18 months in charge on the club and with Chelsea down in ninth place in the table.
He was appointed as manager in the summer of 2019 having had one season in charge of Championship club Derby County, and with a transfer embargo hanging over the club upon his arrival.