Antonio Conte’s failure to park his Nissan in the correct space is one of the reasons why Chelsea are refusing to pay compensation to their former coach, it has been claimed.
Manager and club are locked in a £20million legal battle following Conte’s sacking in July, when he had 12 months left on his contract.
The former Juventus and Italy boss wants his remaining £11.3m salary paid in full — and is now claiming a further £8.7m for damage to his reputation.
Chelsea have shelled out several fortunes in compensation to managers during Roman Abramovich’s 15 years as owner, including more than £30m for his two sackings of Jose Mourinho.
Now, as the Blues prepare to visit Belarus’ BATE Borisov on Thursday in their latest Europa League game, Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed Chelsea are refusing to pay up due to Conte’s handling of star striker Diego Costa before his January sale to Atletico Madrid.
And his failure to turn up to appearances with sponsors, his late arrival for post-match press conferences… and his bad parking at their Cobham training ground.
The dispute has become increasingly bitter with the 49-year-old reportedly failing to turn up to two meetings to thrash out a deal.
It is claimed the Italian now wants to go to court, on a matter of principle.
Conte is livid at the handling of his protracted dismissal. He was forced to return to Cobham and start pre-season training before his axing on July 13 when other top sides had appointed new coaches.
The Stamford Bridge club had started negotiations to appoint Maurizio Sarri from Napoli in May.
Conte’s leaving statement issued via the League Managers Association thanked Chelsea players, staff and fans, but made no mention of Abramovich or chief executive Marina Granovskaia.
The former Italy boss led the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season while also reaching the FA Cup Final and being voted LMA Manager of the Year.
But the relationship soured with Conte wanting more control over transfers — he also texted Costa to tell him he wasn’t in his plans for the following season.
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Conte became frustrated at Chelsea’s failure to sign his targets – such as then-Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, who instead went to Manchester United – and spent the next season complaining about the quality of the summer recruits.
He still signed an improved, though not extended, contract in July 2017, but FA Cup Final success in May was not enough to keep his job.
Conte had looked set to take over at Real Madrid after their swift sacking of summer appointment Julen Lopetegui, but a deal fell through.