Vardy troubled by death threats

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy says he did not have a hand in former manager Claudio Ranieri's sacking. Vardy has apparently received death threats in the wake of reports he was part of a dressing room revolt.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy says he did not have a hand in former manager Claudio Ranieri's sacking. Vardy has apparently received death threats in the wake of reports he was part of a dressing room revolt.PHOTO: REUTERS

Striker had been fingered as having turned on ex-manager Ranieri which led to his firing

LONDON • Jamie Vardy has claimed he received death threats because of his alleged involvement in the dressing-room mutiny that undermined Claudio Ranieri, and said the backlash against the Leicester City players has led to his family suffering a number of "terrifying" ordeals.

Vardy denied he had been responsible in any way for former Leicester manager Ranieri's sacking but admitted the incident had crystallised the impression of him as someone "football fans don't seem to like".

He said the repercussions had also threatened his family's safety, featuring a number of alleged road-rage incidents involving his wife, Rebekah, as the victim.

"The story is out there, then people pick it up and jump on it and you're getting death threats about your family, kids, everything," Vardy said.

"I try to get on with it but when people are trying to cut your missus up while she's driving along with the kids in the back of the car, it's not the best. It's happened plenty of times. It is terrifying."

Vardy said the threats had been made "on social media, walking down the street, you name it" and insisted he was wrongly named as one of the players who allegedly turned against the manager who won the first league championship in Leicester's history.

He went as far as to say he was not aware of a problem between any players and their former manager.

"Apparently the meeting that got him sacked, I read one story that said it was straight after the Sevilla game. Absolute shambles," he said.

"It said I was personally involved in a meeting when I was actually sat in anti-doping for three hours. The stories were quite hurtful. A lot of false accusations were being thrown out there and there's nothing us, as players, could do about it."

Vardy, preparing to lead England's attack in their friendly against Germany in Dortmund today, admitted it looked strange that Leicester's players did not express any support for Ranieri on their social media accounts until they started receiving criticism for their collective silence.

Ranieri was sacked after arriving back in England from Leicester's 1-2 Champions League last-16 first leg loss against Sevilla on Feb 23 and Vardy, for example, took 48 hours - from Thursday to Saturday evening - before posting his reaction, citing one of the reasons being that he had to bath his children.

"I can understand what you are saying but, personally, my tweet was (meant to be) going out straightaway, but I wrote it that many times as I couldn't quite get the wording right. You don't know what to say," the 30-year-old added.

"It was 24 hours before I did it but we had just got back from Seville. We were delayed, landed, then went straight home, kids in the bath and straight to bed myself."

Leicester have won all four of their matches and qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League since Ranieri left, with his former assistant manager, Craig Shakespeare, in charge until the end of the season.

Vardy also explained why he had not chosen to report the death threats or road-rage incidents to the police.

"All that can happen is they get banned on Twitter," he said.

"People get cut up but if there's no cameras, you're screwed."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Vardy troubled by death threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe