Leicester striker Jamie Vardy says he has received death threats and his family have been targeted since Claudio Ranieri was sacked as manager.
The 30-year-old blamed “hurtful” and “false” accusations he influenced the club’s decision to sack the Italian.
Ranieri left in February, nine months after winning the Premier League, with the club 17th in the table. His successor, Craig Shakespeare, later denied reports of a player revolt.
“It is terrifying,” Vardy said.
“I read one story that said I was personally involved in a meeting after the Sevilla game when I was actually sat in anti-doping for three hours.
“But then the story is out there, people pick it up and jump on it and you’re getting death threats about your family, kids, everything.”
Vardy said he was able to “get on with it” but added: “When people are trying to cut your missus up while she’s driving, with the kids in the back of the car, it’s not the best.”
BBC Sport understands some Leicester players were summoned to meet the club’s chairman after a 2-1 Champions League defeat by Sevilla, and Ranieri’s fate was sealed by the negative reaction.
With Shakespeare in charge – first as caretaker and later on a deal until the end of the season – the Foxes have won four successive matches, moving up to 15th, six points above the relegation zone.
That run includes a 2-0 victory in their last-16 second leg with Sevilla which leaves them as England’s only representative in the quarter-finals.
“If there was an issue, you went and did it in the gaffer’s office or you went and did it on the tactics board, because he was happy for you to come in and put your opinion across,” Vardy added of Ranieri’s time in charge.
“The stories were quite hurtful to be honest with you. A lot of false accusations were being thrown out there and there was nothing we, as players, could do about it.
“We just had to put it to the back of our minds and concentrate on the football.”
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