|You’re fired: Avram Grant, left, and Henk ten
Cate are history in Chelsea [GALLO/GETTY]
English Premier League club Chelsea have continued their clear-out of its coaching staff by firing Henk ten Cate.
Ten Cate had said the club told him his position was safe despite the dismissal of manager Avram Grant last week, but his own exit came just five days later following a meeting on Thursday.
The 53-year-old Dutchman had only been assistant manager with the Blues since October, but his fate, like Grant’s, appears to have been sealed by the club’s failure to win a trophy for the first time in four years.
“As a result of the team management changes at Chelsea FC, and in the light of any forthcoming appointment, it was clear this was the correct decision for all parties,” the club said in a statement.
His dismissal suggests Frank Rijkaard is not among the candidates to replace Grant, despite reports linking him to the west London club.
Ten Cate was assistant to Rijkaard at FC Barcelona, helping the club win the Champions League and Spanish title, before being released from his contract to take charge of Ajax, where he stayed until joining Chelsea.
Rijkaard, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Michael Laudrup, Roberto Mancini, Mark Hughes and Luiz Felipe Scolari have all been linked with the club as owner Roman Abramovich reportedly seeks a coach to bring the club titles and a more exciting style of play.
Grant, Ten Cate and Steve Clarke, who is expected to end his long-term association with Chelsea to pursue a career as a manager, led the Blues to second place in the Premier League and two finals.
But the club lost 2-1 to Tottenham in the League Cup final and then 6-5 on penalties to Manchester United in last week’s Champions League final.