Players 'disgusted' with Ranieri

Last updated at 10:01 22 April 2004

Chelsea's problems deepened further today with claims of dressing room unrest at the tactics of Claudio Ranieri that led to their European Cup semi-final defeat in Monaco.

And the bad news did not stop there after the Porto president protested to FIFA about the conduct of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and chief executive Peter Kenyon in trying to arrange a meeting with the Portuguese club's coach Jose Mourinho.

One senior player is said to have broken the changing room silence after the 3-1 defeat against the French champions challenging Ranieri with the words "what the f*** was all that about".

Another international is reported to have said "Claudio made a complete cock-up" while even less complimentary text messages were said to have been sent between other players.

Players' disgust

Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink said: "I don't think a single one of us slept on Tuesday night. We are all disgusted about what happened. We can't believe it.

"It is a massive missed opportunity and everybody is feeling sh*t. Roman Abramovich spoke to us after the game and what he said is private. But he felt the defeat just like us. I bet he feels as sh*t as we do."

Monaco had played most of the second half with 10 men following a sending off but seized a potentially crucial lead after three bizarre substitutions from Ranieri.

One of those involved Juan Veron, who, it is claimed this morning, told Ranieri he was not fit enough to play in such an important game following a long lay-off with a back injury.

But the manager brought him on anyway and the Argentine was completely ineffectual and looked unfit.

Porto objection

Meanwhile Kenyon has denied having any knowledge of Porto's complaint.

The president of the Portuguese club, Nuno Pinto Da Costa, claims he has made the protest following pictures of Kenyon and Abramovich at Vigo airport in Spain on their way back from a meeting with Mourinho's agent, Isuo Jorge Mendes, in Setubal, Portugal, on Monday.

Mourinho did not attend the meeting but Abramovich is personally cited in the complaint as the president of Chelsea. He is accused of attempting to induce Mourinho to breach his contract with Porto.

Kenyon said: "Have they made a complaint? I'm not aware of that and why would they complain to FIFA? I know there are pictures of us. We were in Spain. We do a lot of travelling."

Following their European Cup semi-final goalless draw against Deportivo last night in Portugal, Mourinho said about Chelsea's alleged courting: "Are Chelsea interested in me? You know more than me. All I can say is that I have had no contact from Chelsea. I do not know anything about Chelsea."

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