Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said all the right things when he was finally unveiled earlier this week – promising to ‘have fun’ and make things enjoyable for his players – but the 59-year-old Italian may already have been told to sand his rough edges by his new club.
The Sun alleges that Sarri, who is at home wearing a tracksuit on the touchline – a dying breed in modern football management, has been instructed that he must wear a suit instead. It is part of what is described by the tabloid as adopting a ‘British attitude’.
And not only does that mean suits on the touchline for matchdays, the Chelsea hierarchy also apparently want to see their man wearing a suit to press conferences as well.
Interestingly, wearing a suit is not a standard they have held previous managers to – Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho among them – so it remains to be seen if the press conferences part holds any truth, or indeed if Chelsea are simply setting out stricter rules for the latest chapter.
As things stand it may well be nonsense as Sarri has already turned up to the first press conference on Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Australia wearing training gear.
One thing that Sarri will definitely have to change is smoking on matchdays.
He was known for smoking cigarettes on the touchline during Serie A games until Italian authorities clamped down on the habit. He later had to make do with having one at half-time in the dressing room instead. But that won’t be allowed at Chelsea either.
Smoking in enclosed public places has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 2007 and football stadiums are no exception to the rules. It means Sarri will have to literally step outside should he wish to light up at any point while on duty with Chelsea.