Chelsea still paying Frank Lampard’s £75k-a-week salary but axed boss must give it up to take new job: Exclusive by Duncan Wright 13 Feb 2021.
It took a while to settle in although we hear this was coming from different quarters and two days later it was in the newspaper that has come in very handy for me when live matches are on. I will explain this down the line. I was pondering on whether to enter it but its happening far too often not to mention. But for now this is interesting, something I’ll give my view or opinion on afterwards, so before that: Frank Lampard would need to be offered a job too good to turn down to tempt him back into management and give up the £1.8million in wages due from Chelsea. When Lampard was sacked by Chelsea last month the club did not pay-up the remainder of his contract after a change of policy in the wake of coughing up huge sums to get rid of Jose Mourinho.
Instead they have kept his £75,000-a-week salary on the wage bill – with an agreement that will continue to be paid until July unless he takes a job elsewhere. And that leaves Lampard in a position where any offer of employment that comes in would potentially cost him a fortune.
The 42-year-old is understood to be happy to be taking a break from the game for a short period following his sacking, having had three highly-pressured seasons since becoming a manager at Derby.
The run to the play-off final with the Rams was followed by the major challenge of guiding Chelsea into a Champions League finish with a squad of youngsters and those he inherited from Maurizio Sarri.
The short turnaround between seasons meant the intensity didn’t ease off going into the current campaign, so he is now enjoying time with his family.
That was the major reason why Lampard did not push himself forward to be considered for the vacant job at Bournemouth when he would have been well-placed to get the role.
But also a part of the consideration was the fact it would immediately mean the money Chelsea continue to pay him would stop, which would cost him just under £2m.
In practice what it means is that Lampard would effectively be taking a pay cut if he was to get back into the game before next season.
So it would have to be an offer which is too good to turn down which would tempt him back in over the foreseeable future.
Lampard was swiftly replaced by former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
TRICK OR TREAT? OR PLAIN BAD MANAGEMENT?
There are two things that come to mind here, one being what Alan Hansen once said on BBCs MOTD about “winning nothing with kids” and something years prior – you must read my book The Waddington Years or get a copy of John Leonard’s book TONY WADDINGTON Director of the Working Man’s Ballet – where talk in the Sun about the pressures Frank was under in those early years of management is put into its rightful place.
My book is better than John’s if only because its from the heart, but his is a great read.
Leonard’s back page read: Director of a Working Man’s Ballet is a biography of the former Stoke City manager, Tony Waddington, one of the most underrated figures in 60s and 70s football. It charts how a man with the appearance of an urbane bank manager belied the stereotyped of the hard-nosed football manager as he turned around the fortunes of an ailing club on the brink of going out of business.
Instead, Waddington led the Potters to promotion, secured the club’s first major trophy and challenged for a league title in a season bedevilled by bad luck, before a calamity led to his departure. An advocate of free-flowing football, yet fielding some of the most uncompromising players of his era, he reinvigorated old pros, inspired young players and won the adulation of a generation of fans. Tony Waddington, or ‘Waddo’ as he was affectionately known to fans and players alike, achieved all this as the Director of what he fondly termed ‘a working man’s ballet’.
THE WADDINGTON YEARS: Foreword by Jeff Powell (Daily Mail) Afterword by Nick Hancock. Chief Sports Feature Writer Powell foreword set the tone but for now I’ll concentrate on Frank and come back another day with how this book came about and in such times of this pandemic Lockdown where I find myself counting how many people, and the same people, talking of “boredom because of the pubs being closed” and any other activity I say sit down pick a subject of someone very special and write about them, it’s great therapy for all involved. I will follow this up when the time is right, although that time could be right now, but as my friend Tony Jimenez, got his name right after all of this time, says to me often, something about “multi-tasking.”
My view on this latest piece on Frank: Meanwhile it shows that the vultures have stopped flying overhead as you can see as both Hakim Ziyech has praised Tuchel’s tactics since he was appointed last month along with Antonio Rudiger who has praised the ‘positive’ new manager for ‘knowing what he wants’. Nothing changes in this game, which has me thinking ‘Did Frank buy Ziyech?
Let’s take a look at what Frank must be not only be thinking but keeping him lying awake at night? He was most definitely flavour of the month early in after selling David Luiz to Arsenal which led to his Brazilian team-mate William following him to the Emirates – whether right or wrong not enough thought of the consequences.
“Fools Rush In” springs to mind and that word “experience” keeps springing up in my mind also.
This must bring back memories of his playing days because fifty something years on it does me. The million pound question, although that’s nothing today, is did Frank by bringing in and standing by these youngsters rebound on him?
I have mentioned prior to this about; was the old guard that will remind Frank of his days with his Rat Pack, JT, Ashley Cole, DD and Petr Cech when they called the shots anything to do with this, even subconsciously?
Frank could be Luciano with his stylish good looks, he could play either Lucky or Bond himself and this takes me back to my early days of playing against is old team West Ham United, where in my first season in the Youth Team at Chadwell Heath I was like a little boy lost as a 15-year-old playing against those two years my senior, the likes of Trevor Brooking, who was my first room-mate with England, and whose path has been very straight, when I mean straight, one that took him straight into the HQ of the Football Association, where mine was as weird as The Yellow Brick Road with sprinkles of red – the red being blood not the stuff out of a bottle.
I remember to this day the team known as the Hammers fielding an Under 18 team full of James Bond’s. There is no doubt it is the East London thing. The Kray Twins. The Blind Beggar. The Grey Maurice. The Roman Road called “The Roman” by the locals. It was as if I was a stranger passing through, as my wife said one day, “You don’t even belong over this side” something I disputed by stating that I was very much at home mingling with those people who when I got to know them found them very much alike – I speak to one of my dearest friends often, and my good friend Malcolm who sadly passed would still be here with me, and to be perfectly honest wen it all comes down to it, it just about sums my relationship up, she simply never knew me?
Se never knew how I came through the Bermuda Under House Arrest, she definitely never knew about how Geoff Salmons and I escaped going through a tunnel to Marrakesh (I hear the song Marrakesh Express and sigh) in the early hours never knowing where or if our bodies would have been found. She never knew that I saw Roman Road like I saw the Wild West, whoever has the most bullets usually wins. But I went into that place for different reasons but we are not allowed to mention the word “love” something that I had always kept and always will keep in my top pocket, and she also didn’t know that there was a place there for her. Yeah, Roman Road was like the Wild West, as those saloon doors swing wide open not knowing whether this place was real or not and the characters in our corner were terrific, some old boys who made me laugh but none more so than the one who caught me out one Sunday morning as we talked about pubs. Me and my friend Malcolm loved going out finding new places, walking down backstreets that looked like going nowhere, even in places far away in other countries, so I suppose this is how it cropped up, as this chap, who we knew well said right out of the Blue, “I know the best two two boozers in town?”
Without thinking I replied and he said, “My two brothers,” and didn’t flinch. Much like the ‘Mickeys Mousers’ they had great one liners.
Everything football seemed like 1966 reinvented and I’d wait for Alf Garnett to walk in. Talking of those at the place for some unknown reason named The Academy, years later after an initial scuffle with Malcolm Allison at the Football Writers Dinner of 1970 where I was runner-up to Billy Bremner, I found myself in the Playboy Club, in Park Lane, with Big Mal. If he would have listened I could have told him that he was in the wrong place. There was only one place on earth big enough for Malcolm and that was Hollywood with his fantastic lifestyle camouflaging The Beautiful Game. Before I venture any further after that first scuffle, where I was out of sorts through missing the upcoming FA Cup final against ‘Little Billy’ who that night was knocking around with ‘Little Lou’ two Scottish internationals causing some kind of havoc, but the pity was while ‘Little Billy’ was Footballer of the Year, and a worthy one, he should have saved “all that jazz” for the FA Cup final replay at Old Trafford. Wembley was the place to be seen in an FA Cup final but a Wednesday night in Manchester at the end of a season was something todays modern day “copies” would rage at such an occasion. This is where reputations went out of the window. This is where Blue Fire fought White Fire. This was a stage where a boy from the Southern League put the game into a new category and there was nothing Don Corleone on the touchline, Wee Billy or Norman ‘Bite Your Legs’ Hunter could do anything about it. This was a match where there was most certainly ‘No Hiding Place’ whether you were from Hollywood, Leeds, Chelsea or where those Krays came from, it was out in the open for all to see. Wearing flash clobber meant nothing. Ian Hutchinson, the boy from Burton, rode into Chelsea on a motorbike with a leather jacket on his back, only to be told by another Academic, Dave Sexton, to “lose the image” and although the young man known as Hutch did lose the image, thank whoever, he never lost what sat on that saddle and wore under those clothes. Forget Dirty Harry. Forget Alfie. Forget Ronnie and Reggie. This was the place to be and as one Manchester United fanatic once admitted to me, “I have never seen anything like it, our place was lit up with Blue.”
Bonetti got whacked by Mick Jones early on, not the Ronnie and Reggie whacked, but clattered by the Leeds forward who know doubt was under orders. The ‘Cat’ limped through the rest of the match, however when we played Leeds United one day at the Bridge on a wonderfully sunny Saturday afternoon a couple of years later and Peter Lorimer went in goal after David Harvey got whacked, but nothing near as bad as Catty. You see in the heat of the moment one forgets the size of such a match. These were the days with one sub, no goal-keeping substitutions allowed. Can you remember that?
Jones had set the scene well. He also scored against the injured Bonetti to put them ahead for the third time in two matches. We, although I sat upstairs injured, looked down and out. An injured goalkeeper and behind for a third time, surely Manchester would belong to their northern rivals, but it seemed The Theatre of Dreams was just that, not Hollywood, with no hats and cigars, purely and simply a match that would define something in football history that is never spoken about.
Before Charlie Cooke took the ball from Hutch’s toe on the halfway line the FA Cup was going further north, and every now and then I pinch myself as to what would have happened in those 51 years since had Prince Charlie had not have delivered a pass no Academy could teach their pupils. If it were a Brazilian, wow. Messi, wow. This was a pass that had the entire Leeds United defence standing like they were in Madame Tussauds. They should play this every now and then, instead of the garbage they come up with through this pandemic, those at SKY have absolutely no idea about the pride and passion that this game holds. I guess what I am trying to say, for fifty one years I cannot even imagine had Charlie not conjured up such genius and those in white left Old Trafford victorious it would have been unbearable.
They were the better team on both occasions, but it goes to show that Blue Fire is fiercer than White Fire. The point is they lit the fire and we put it out. What has this to do with Frank Lampard?
It’s something to do with character and it’s something to do with knowing your players and those around you and although I have no idea what Dave Sexton could possibly have been thinking from that Old Trafford dugout but was nothing to do with what was going on before his very eyes but what he did know was the characters in this team would not lie down.
There was something about this team, it was nowhere near the best and that is the annoying things about the selling of me and Osgood because we were a big part of the “potential” it had, you know the insight not the short sightedness of the ‘suits’ and this I’ll go onto in a few days when I take up on the two books Lenard and Hudson.
I forget to mention what happened after Charlie clipped that pass, some say like Tiger Woods, into the airspace behind that wall of white shirts which today would have ran out of play and you’d hear a “thick” commentator say “Too heavy a touch” well, out of the space on front of this white wall came Peter Osgood who had downed tools in Windsor for such an occasion, being a “brickie” of some sorts, and swooped to leave their uninjured goalkeeper clutching at thin air, the air he had just flow through to head us back into the match. It sounded earlier as if this was the winning goal, well, although it levelled the score for the third time it was the goal that won Chelsea their very first FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup almost as if it were planned. Of course it wasn’t, there is not a man or woman – although SKY are trying to make it like that – on this planet that could have planned, coached or written such a script.
Years later the Referees Council watched this match and came up with: “Had it been today (the year 2,000) it would have ended up a 5-a-side.”
Had I played I would have been 19-years-of-age the youngest by two years, Hutch ‘The Gunslinger’ nearest to me, and after that these players who fought out these two battles must have had an average age well above what Alan Hansen stated. This was not a stage for the feint or young hearted it was a stage for those worthy of picking themselves off the floor three times and ending up down Slack Alice Night Club with that trophy, and moving on from there on closing time. This was a time Chelsea Football Club should have realized that both Leeds United and Manchester United, who fought out the semi-final, were finished as a force. Bobby, Denis and Paddy left George all on his own, all past their sell-by-date, and George was left holding something that was no longer there. There are theories that say history does or doesn’t repeat itself but this was case of it “does” as managers know when their time is up, and my Goodness Sir Matt had been through it, and they leave such greatness in the hands of what Jackson Browne sang as The Pretender.
George would have to go to Hollywood, LA Aztecs in fact, but it was too late, as had he gone when he was at the peak of his powers, those who needed to be Gay to get to where they wanted to go, would have to had to stand aside. George had it all and more and I always say that where they had to change their names, some girlish, George didn’t, he already had it. BEST.
Yeah, Leeds United huffed and puffed thereafter but they knew after Jock Stein’s Glasgow Celtic had knocked them out of the European Cup in between, that there are some things you just cannot take for granted.
Talking of Hollywood had Stephen Spielberg had made this historical year into a movie he would have forgotten the “Shark” and had Hutch riding his Harley round the white lines of Old Trafford as a parting shot.
What Leeds United, and Revie in particular, failed to know is that the man who took my place, the man known as Sponge (Tommy Baldwin) a fantastic bloke and character from Gateshead, never expected to play until I went down that hole in the Black Country (WBA) so his training was with Richard Harris, A Man Called Horse, and Oliver Reed down some joint in the Kings Road.
It was not the kind of training that the manager expected before an FA Cup final, I mean three or four in the morning you can’t really call Arm Wrestling with these two weaklings training, surely Dave, or is it Don?
Frank: It is like watching an old movie in the days of the gangster when the young wannabe Al Capone or Lucky Luciano began wearing trousers.
You will find that not a lot will change because the trial period suits everyone and that means when you’re earning massive amounts of money at what has become a top European football club there will be no vultures with a new headmaster.
It was much like at our secondary modern school where teachers knew who was who and I recall a stranger – stand-in casual worker – came in and instead of doing what Tuchel is going to do did not weigh up the situation, which through one of our livelier students, he left in a state of both shock and fear.
Frank will now be digging deep for answers to many unasked questions and the greatest problem he has is that he, no matter his achievements in that Blue shirt, has never experienced anything like what is taking place at this moment in time. I began writing a book about FRANK LAMPARD’S FIRST YEAR IN MANAGEMENT and we hit a wall, nothing like Leeds United, called Covid-19, so seeing that Frank, although backed by all of those ‘suits’ could maybe be going into some kind of hibernation, so I thought, much like with Tom Clarke at the Sporting Life, I’ll try a new path, because having been down so many paths that have such a dangerous ending, I think that this book will, if not sell, at least kill many a moment and while killing them bring so many fantastic yet heartbreaking ones back.