CHELSEA have defended captain John Terry over allegations that he took secret cash payments to lay on a behind-the-scenes tour of the club’s training ground.
It was claimed that Terry arranged the backstage visit by an undercover reporter without permission from Carlo Ancelotti. Terry, who earns £160,000-a-week, was claimed to have taken a £10,000 payment, £8,000 of which he wanted to go to the ‘Make A Wish’ charity for children, with the other £2,000 going to a middleman.
But Ancelotti leapt to Terry’s defence last night, insisting he had done nothing wrong.
“This is not correct. This is not true,” he said. “The club, me, the players, have a lot of confidence in John Terry and John Terry did nothing wrong. He was very quiet, very calm, very concentrated for the game. No problem.”
When asked whether Terry had told him the story was not true, Ancelotti added: “Yes. I have a lot of confidence in my captain.”
Chelsea’s senior officials are also standing by Terry, although the west Londoners will be beefing up security at their Cobham headquarters.
“Contrary to media reports and the appearance of edited video this morning the club is confident that at no time did Terry ask for or accept money in relation to visits to the training ground,” a statement read.
“Chelsea FC gives our players room to exercise their own discretion when contacted personally with regard to visits and the club keeps security and access to the training ground at Stamford Bridge under constant review. However, as a result of the security breach highlighted by today’s article we will be further reviewing access to our facilities and clamping down where there are gaps in the process.”
Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has played down the news that British customs officials want to take action against him next month.
The Tottenham manager, who has been given the full support of his club, has always denied any wrongdoing following an investigation into his financial affairs, which included him being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting in November 2007.
“It’s not a major issue,” Redknapp told the BBC. “It’s something that was done between myself and my ex-chairman, away from football, and it really is... well, it’s unbelievable, farcical.”
Spurs also issued a statement backing the 62-year-old, who has masterminded a change in fortunes for the club since taking charge just over a year ago.
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