Chelsea are closing in on paying £100m worth of compensation to managers after being ‘ordered’ to give Antonio Conte a £9m pay-off.
Conte and Chelsea have been at legal loggerheads since the Italian’s departure as manager in July 2018.
He was left ‘disgusted’ by how the club conducted themselves, releasing a 52-word statement that failed to thank him for his Premier League title and FA Cup in two seasons.
Conte had one year remaining on his Stamford Bridge deal, but Chelsea had hoped to avoid paying that in full by arguing that he was ‘in breach of that contract’ due to his ‘behaviour in his final year’.
The Times say that his decision to text Diego Costa to tell him he could leave so soon after the Blues had won the Premier League in 2017 ‘was against the club’s interests’.
Conte’s counter-argument was that Chelsea ‘harmed his chances of getting another management job last summer’ by delaying his sacking until after he and his squad returned to pre-season training.
He is now in line to take the Inter Milan job, while Chelsea ‘are not planning to appeal against the tribunal’s verdict’ as they hope to draw a line under ‘a bitter ten-month feud’.
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Conte’s pay-off is only the fifth-biggest the Blues have paid to a manager under Roman Abramovich. The £23.1m paid to Jose Mourinho and his staff in September 2007 was higher, as well as the fees given to Andre Villas-Boas (£12.7m), Luiz Felipe Scolari (£12.6m) and Roberto Di Matteo (£10.7m). In total, they add up to £92.9m.