Clarke hands in resignation

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Football News

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari understands why assistant manager Steve Clarke wants to leave for West Ham.

The Scot handed in his resignation on Friday morning after an approach to link up with the Hammers' new manager Gianfranco Zola at Upton Park.

Chelsea have not accepted his resignation and will be seeking compensation but Scolari has already wished him well in his new post. "Now I have been told he is going I am sad but I understand Steve. All people have projects in their life," he said.

"I don't agree with his decision but I am happy for him because I like Stevie.

"I like him as a person and as a coach and I wish him all the best."

Scolari had made efforts to persuade Clarke, whom he regards as his expert on English football, to stay.

"Yesterday (on Thursday) I invited Steve to visit my house and we discussed the situation between West Ham and Chelsea," he added. I told him what I thought and this morning told (chief executive) Peter Kenyon what I think about Steve, that he is very important for me and for Chelsea.

"He is a man that is a link between me and the players and between me and the staff. He knows Chelsea very well and English players and clubs.

"When he told me about his projects I said to him I could be the man who would open more chances for him to be the head coach in England or in other countries. And I said I would give him more responsibility at Chelsea and would tell the press that Steve wanted to fly alone in the future.

"I don't know what happened in the night but when I came here in the morning I heard he had resigned."

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Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United

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