Netherlands assistant manager Ruud Gullit has claimed that the inaction of those at the helm of affairs at Chelsea caused the unrest in the dressing room. According to him, the board was to blame for Chelsea’s struggles and not Conte.

Ruud Gullit spent two years as Chelsea manager from 1996-98 and admitted the peculiar difficulties of managing the club. He, rather than pointing fingers at Conte for missing out on the UCL next season, pointed fingers squarely at the board for their poor management.

“I’m not blaming it on Conte,” the Netherlands assistant manager told Goal. “I’m blaming it on the rumours from the beginning about whether he was going to have to leave or whatever. Nobody upstairs did anything about it. No one said: ‘Hey, that’s that a rumour, that’s not true. He’s our coach.’ That didn’t happen.

“The players who are playing, they don’t care, but the players who are not playing see an opportunity that if he leaves, maybe they can play. So, you get a lot of trouble into the locker room. You don’t need that as a coach.

“It’s not been a success. It has been a plaster on the wound. It’s been a very hard season.

“If they could exchange the Champions League place for the FA Cup, they’d do it.”

He then joked that longevity as a manager at Chelsea would be ensured by not winning trophies.

“If you win something, then you’re in danger in Chelsea,” the 55-year-old said. “The one who didn’t win anything stayed the longest – Claudio Ranieri. He was there for four years. All the others had to leave. It’s better not to win anything!”