“I’ve been stabbed in the back!” Former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit claims he was fired by the Blues for ‘partying in Amsterdam’ while actually taking care of his sick mother
- Ruud Gullit was surprisingly fired by Chelsea in 1998, despite impressing
- Gullit helped the Blues win their first major trophy in 26 years during his tenure
- The Dutchman then joined Newcastle United, where he clashed with Alan Shearer
- The feud led to his departure from St James’ Park after only a year in charge
Former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit has claimed he was fired by Chelsea after they mistakenly believed he was partying too much in Amsterdam.
Gullit became player manager at Stamford Bridge in 1996 after being selected in the Blues midfield for a year to replace England-bound Glenn Hoddle.
He became an instant success, winning the club their first trophy in 26 years with the FA Cup in 1997, pairing it with sixth place.
Ruud Gullit enjoyed a successful period as a player manager at Chelsea between 1996 and 1998
Gullit won the club their first major trophy in 26 years by lifting the FA Cup at Wembley
The Blues would improve again the following campaign, until he was surprisingly fired despite sitting second at the table.
Now, the Dutchman has lifted the lid on the reasons behind his dismissal at Stamford Bridge, insisting that the club thought he was partying when he was actually taking care of his sick mother.
‘I think I found out later why I was fired. I didn’t understand why then, ”Gullit said to beIN SPORTS.
‘My mother was sick, she had breast cancer. I went to the Netherlands a lot to just be there for her. Seeing your mom in a hospital, especially for cancer, is so sad and so bleak. It was an incredible experience to be there and I wanted her to get out as soon as possible because it’s depressing. ‘
But he was surprisingly fired by Chairman Ken Bates (center) while the club were second in the Premier League table and on the hunt for silverware in Europe.
The Dutchman claims it was mistakenly believed that he was partying in Amsterdam when he was actually taking care of his sick mother
‘So I spent a lot of time with her in the Netherlands. They said I was fired because I was partying too much in Amsterdam or whatever, it was not even. I was surprised. As if I was really stabbed in the back in an incredible way. ‘
Upon his departure from Blues in 1998, Gullit’s high reputation led him to replace Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle United, where his promise of ‘sexy football’ gave Toon fans hope that he could replicate his success from his West London tenure.
But Gullit only stayed on the hotseat at St James’ Park for a year before being fired again after falling bitterly with star striker Alan Shearer.
However, the 58-year-old said he always wanted Shearer to be a part of his plans, but the attacker never trusted him after replacing Dalglish. In addition to Newcastle, the duo previously worked with Blackburn, where they took the Premier League title.
After leaving Chelsea, Gullit was welcomed to St James’ Park to become Newcastle boss
But the Dutchman went through a miserable time in the Northeast, arguing with Alan Shearer
The relationship between Gullit (left) and Shearer deteriorated during their year of working together
“I had to adopt a football style that I was used to at Chelsea,” he said. ‘I had to do the same, so things in Newcastle had to change.
‘Alan was part of that because I needed him too, I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want him to leave. But he only protected himself because he didn’t think he was part of that plan, and he wasn’t! The only thing is, he didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t get anything from Alan Shearer that I wanted. ‘
“I wanted him to do more for the team because he was the leader I needed. The only thing is I didn’t bother and I asked him about it and he said, ‘I’m doing everything I can’. And I knew and he knew, we both knew I can’t win this battle. ‘
Alan was convinced I wanted to get rid of him, and that was not true. I know that Bobby [Robson] later did. He wanted to get rid of Shearer, okay? But he was the people’s choice. You can’t fight that. It’s impossible. You can’t fight it. He is their God. ‘