Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha says the decision to sack Claudio Ranieri was the board’s “decision alone” and said the players had no say in the matter.
Both Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel denied reports that Ranieri had lost the dressing room and left the players seeking a change in leadership.
And Srivaddhanaprabha urged fans not to fault the players in comments appearing in Leicester’s matchday programme on Monday.
“This week we made the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years with Leicester City,” Srivaddhanaprabha wrote. “I don’t expect everyone to understand it and I know that some people are angry about it, but we have to think about the club’s long-term interests and the best way to bring the club we love forward.
“Everything we have ever done for the club has been to help make it stronger and with the long-term future in mind. Carrying that responsibility means making decisions that are not always popular and we respect the views of the fans, but responsibility ultimately rests with us.
“We will forever be grateful to Claudio for what he helped us to achieve and the warmth, charm and good humour he brought to his office that helped move the club forward.
“The achievements of last season were extraordinary and we never expected them to be replicated, but we are now faced with a fight to retain out Premier League status and, with 13 games remaining, we felt a change of leadership was necessary.
“It’s a painful decision, but our love for the club means we must put its best interests before personal feeling.
“This was our decision, our decision alone and it is unfair that our players, who supported Claudio fiercely, are being accused of disloyalty.