Chelsea have been left bemused by John Terry’s decision to announce publicly that he would not be given a new contract extension – given that the player and his agent were told that they should wait for the club’s new manager to make the final decision.
Terry asked the club last month to meet his agent Paul Nicholls to discuss the question of a new contract extension and chose not to attend the meeting himself.
The club explained to Nicholls that it was not a question of definitively answering whether Terry would be given a new deal or not, but Nicholls said that an answer had to be given there and then.
Placed in that position, the club told Terry, 35, that as things stood they could not guarantee he would be getting a new deal as they did not want to pre-empt what their new manager would think about the situation. Terry was told that the issue was by no means decided and that he should wait to see how it developed.
However, the impromptu announcement by Terry after his side’s victory over MK Dons in the FA Cup on Sunday has predictably caused outrage among Chelsea supporters loyal to their long-serving captain.
In reality it was a risky move by Terry who still stood a chance of a new deal but has now accused the Chelsea hierarchy of a decision they had not yet settled upon.
Terry did acknowledge on Sunday that he had been told by the club “when the new manager comes in, things might change” but he also made clear there would be “no fairy-tale ending”.
He said that he had been told in January for the two previous years whether he was to be given a new one-year deal. Although on both occasions the actual deal itself was announced much later.
In 2014, when Terry earned his first extension, the agreement was not formalised by the club until May 13. Last season the next one-year extension was not announced until March 26. Both times Jose Mourinho was in place and able to take a long-term view on Terry’s situation.
This time the situation is different, a reality which was conveyed to Nicholls in the meeting before the Arsenal game last month.
The club are adamant that all first team player issues – sales, acquisitions and new contracts – are always ratified by the manager. Terry’s situation could be no different.
Before Sunday, Terry had last touched on the issue of his contract on Jan 16 after he scored the last minute equaliser against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
He said then: “I want to finish my career here, of course. But I’m not even thinking of that [the new contract]. Last year it was a couple of months from now before things got sorted, so the most important thing is getting us out of this and up that league table. But hopefully that will come. I just have to keep plugging away.”
Despite this public stance, the meeting between Nicholls and the club which Terry referred to on Sunday took place before Chelsea’s next game, against Arsenal, and an ultimatum was offer by player and agent resulting in the current stand-off.
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