Roberto Di Matteo was just supposed to steady the ship for Chelsea and stabilize things until a new, big-name manager was brought in to bring the club back to the European spotlight. Instead, the interim boss guided the Blues to the UEFA Champions League title and FA Cup title and has been rewarded with the job on a permanent basis.
Chelsea ended speculation about Di Matteo's future by signing him to a two-year deal on Wednesday. Di Matteo, a former West Brom manager, was an assistant under Andre Villas-Boas before taking over for the young Portuguese coach when he was fired for a series of poor results. Di Matteo's ability to turn things around drastically for the club earned him a chance to stay on for the foreseeable future, despite stories that suggested Chelsea were after former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
"Roberto's quality was clear for all to see when he galvanized the squad last season and helped the club make history, and the owner and board are very pleased he will be continuing his good work," Chelsea executive Ron Gourlay said in a club statement. "We all believed he was a young coach with much to offer when we first asked him to take charge of team affairs in March and the manner in which he worked with us, the players and all the staff, and the success that followed, made him the clear choice when it came to selecting the person to take us forward in the seasons to come."
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UEFA FINES RUSSIA FOR VIOLENCE, MISCONDUCT
Russia's supporters have cost the national team both financially and in its quest to qualify for the 2016 European championship.
Fan violence prompted UEFA to fine Russia €120,000 and dock the Russians six points ahead of qualifying for the next Euro tournament, a decision that the Russian federation has three days to appeal. In addition to the march to Tuesday's match against Poland that turned violent and resulted in 183 arrests and dozens of injuries, Russians fans drew negative attention for throwing fireworks and displaying offensive banners at Friday's match against the Czech Republic.
UK PREMIER LEAGUE RIGHTS GO FOR MORE THAN £3 BILLION
Sky Sports will be the leading provider of Premier League television coverage in the United Kingdom between 2013 and 2016, but doing so comes at quite the cost.
Sky reportedly spent more than £3 billion for the UK broadcast rights for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, out-bidding ESPN in the process. The two currently share the Premier League broadcast rights.
As for the new Premier League deal for rights in the United States, it has yet to be announced.
LAUDRUP SET TO TAKE SWANSEA JOB
Former Denmark star Michael Laudrup is set to replace Brendan Rodgers as coach of Swansea City, according to reports from England.
Laudrup, 47, has been a manager on the club level since 2002 and was most recently at the helm of Mallorca. Rodgers left Swansea City to replace the ousted Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool after guiding the Swans to the Premier League and then keeping them in the top flight with a mid-table finish.
Think Chelsea made the right choice by giving Di Matteo the job? What do you make of Russia's punishment? What do you think of the price tag for the UK Premier League rights? Think Laudrup is a good hire for Swansea City?
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