CHELSEA stars are losing on purpose to get the manager sacked as quickly as possible.
That is the opinion of former Blues defender Frank Leboeuf, who believes Antonio Conte is not exempt from the blame either.
The Premier League champions have been abysmal since the turn of the year, winning just five out of 19 games.
It has seen them plummet down the table into fifth and eight points off a Champions League spot.
Speculation has been rife that Conte will be axed at the end of the season, and some players appear to have downed tools.
It is remarkably parallel to Chelsea’s catastrophic season two years ago that cost Jose Mourinho his job.
And Leboeuf, who played for the Stamford Bridge club between 1996 and 2001, believes that it is the fans who are receiving the worst of it.
“It’s a lack of respect for the fans and the club, both on the manager’s part, because he’s already packed his bags, but also from the players,” Leboeuf said.
“We saw it with Mourinho, it seemed like some of the players were almost losing on purpose so the manager can get sacked as quickly as possible.
“I knew a team that was hungry for trophies, wanted to win.
“Now, it doesn’t seem that way. One year you win the league, the next it’s a mess.”
Chelsea still have a chance to win silverware this season, as they face Southampton in the FA Cup semi-finals later this month.
If they win that tie, they will come up against either Manchester United or Tottenham at Wembley.