Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has spoken for the first time about his ill-fated spell at Stamford Bridge, whereby he launches a stinging attack on Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner he holds accountable for his sacking.
The Daily Telegraph carries quotes from the Zenit St Petersburg boss taken from an interview with Portuguese TV channel TVI, which prove the 37-year-old still has a chip on his shoulder with the way he was treated during a brief eight-month spell in west London.
Villas-Boas claims that Abramovich was "rarely present" for the duration of his tenure between June 2011 and February 2012, due to major distractions as the billionaire continued his ongoing fight in a high-profile court case against Boris Berezovsky.
The legal battle between the two Russian compatriots - who previously enjoyed a fruitful relationship - ran from the start of 2011 and finished in August 2012, and ended up being the biggest private case in British legal history.
The courtroom controversy is alleged to have had a detrimental affect on Villas-Boas, who was forced to endure the first major setback in his managerial career, after arriving in the Premier League with a glowing reputation off the back of a hugely successful spell in his homeland with FC Porto.
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"Of course we never know what will happen and what I found at Chelsea was not what I wanted," he explained. "I arrived at a difficult time in the private life of the chairman, who was rarely present. This clearly had an effect.
"Then I was surprised and I am still surprised that the chairman's intentions changed. When I went there the idea was to rebuild the team."
Chelsea fans will be intrigued to hear about the story from Villas-Boas's perspective, especially after staying tight-lipped for so long. The common consensus was that the Portuguese tactician had been kept quiet through some kind of gagging order, but now he's finally shed a little bit of light on the treatment and sort of working conditions he endured.
"I arrived at a difficult time in the private life of the chairman" - Andre Villas-Boas
Villas-Boas was quickly given a second chance to prove his credentials in England's top-flight when he succeeded Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the 2012/13 campaign. But despite lasting a little longer at White Hart Lane, his Spurs stint ended in similarly disappointing fashion, departing the club by mutual consent after 18 months in December 2013.
Thankfully he's been able to rebuild his reputation at the Petrovsky Stadium where he's been since March 2014, signing an initial two-year contract as replacement for another highly rated coach from the continent in the form of Luciano Spalletti.
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