Frank Lampard returns to Chelsea as head coach

Frank Lampard spent 13 years and became Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2019

Frank Lampard returns to Chelsea as head coach

  • Frank Lampard signs three-year contract with the Premier League club
  • Lampard spent 13 years and became Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals

LONDON: Frank Lampard was appointed Chelsea head coach on Thursday, confirming a dramatic return for one of the club’s greatest ever players.
Lampard has signed a three-year contract with the Premier League club, where he spent 13 years and became the team’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals.
The former England midfielder succeeds Maurizio Sarri after just one season in management, having led Derby County to the Championship play-off final in May, when they were beaten by Aston Villa.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard said in a club statement.
“Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.
“I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”
Lampard made 648 appearances for Chelsea, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups, as well as the Europa League and the Champions League.
Chelsea said Lampard had a “fantastic relationship” with the club’s supporters and he will certainly lift the mood after a fractious season under Sarri.
Despite finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Europa League, Sarri was criticized for his eccentric approach and rigid style of play.
“Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.
“After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so.
“We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”
Derby granted Chelsea permission to speak to Lampard after reportedly agreeing a compensation package of around $5 million (£4 million) to release him from the remaining two years on his contract with the Championship club.
Chelsea are unlikely to be able to make any new signings this summer as they are serving a two-window transfer ban from FIFA.
And their best player of recent times has also departed after Eden Hazard completed a €100 million ($114 million) move to Real Madrid.
Lampard is therefore expected to oversee a sea change in Chelsea’s policy, concentrated on giving more opportunities to products from the club’s youth academy.
His assistant Jody Morris has extensive knowledge of the Chelsea youth system having been a key figure at the club’s academy prior to joining Lampard at Derby last summer.
However, they face a baptism of fire with their first two competitive games in charge featuring a trip to Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season followed by the UEFA Super Cup against European champions Liverpool.


Removed Qatari president of Malaga C.F. owes club $10m: Court papers

Updated 18 September 2020

Removed Qatari president of Malaga C.F. owes club $10m: Court papers

  • Al-Thani was temporarily removed by a judge on Feb. 19
  • He bought the C.F. in 2010

MALAGA: Qatari businessman Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, who was removed as president of Spanish football club Malaga on charges including the alleged misappropriation of funds, owes the club 8.5 million euros ($10.07 million), court papers have revealed.

Al-Thani, who bought Malaga C.F. in 2010, was temporarily removed by a judge on Feb. 19 and judicial administrator Jose Maria Munoz has been running the business since.

Spanish court documents relating to the ongoing case, claim that Al-Thani and his family took additional money out of the club during their ownership for their personal use.

On Tuesday, a judge placed an 8 million-euro bond on him after the Association of Small Shareholders of Malaga C.F. (APA) requested bail be increased from 5.4 million to 11.7 million euros.

When Al-Thani took over the club, the team was playing in Spain’s top-flight La Liga after winning promotion in the 2008/2009 season. However, financial difficulties led to the club selling a number of key players and in 2018 the team was relegated to the second tier of Spanish football.

The APA filed a complaint against Al-Thani for “improper management, misappropriation of funds, and imposition of abusive corporate agreements.”

Al-Thani and his sons Nasser, Nayef, and Rakkan were dismissed from their roles as president and members of the board of directors, respectively, and were given five days to lodge an appeal against the ruling. But a court in Malaga rejected their appeal to end Munoz’s judicial administration.

Munoz has been managing the day-to-day running of the club, but still has to run any major decisions by the judge first.

On Jan. 22, Spanish authorities seized computers and documents during a search at Malaga’s La Rosaleda stadium. The APA requested the immediate seizure of Al-Thani’s assets, but its application was turned down by the court on the grounds that such a move would be premature.

Antonio Aguilar, the APA’s president, told Arab News that the group “only wants justice to be done. Malaga C.F. has 3,000 shareholders and this man (Al-Thani) cannot do what he wants.”

Al-Thani has continued to issue statements through his lawyers relating to the case and responding to allegations made by APA members.

“He hired an advertising agency, and in Malaga people are getting more and more indignant with the statements,” said Aguilar.

The club’s fans are also outraged, and Aguilar added: “He (Al-Thani) left the club on the verge of disappearance. If the judge had not intervened, appointing a judicial administrator, Malaga C.F. would have disappeared on April 30.”