Chelsea Football Club today confirmed that they have offered their current captain, John Terry, a new one year contract to stay at Stamford Bridge.
There has been a huge amount of speculation regarding Terry’s future in recent months, with the player himself confirming that he’s keen to remain at Chelsea but that the club hadn’t opened negotiations with him. The speculation appears to have been put to bed, with the club confirming this lunchtime that they’ve offered him a new deal.
Terry and his agent, Paul Nicholls, met with the West London club’s chairman, Bruce Buck, and director, Marina Granovskaia, to discuss a potential offer at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground earlier this week. A club spokesman confirmed as much, saying, “Marina Granovskaia and Bruce Buck met with John and his agent this week and offered him a one-year contract extension.
‘With it coming so late in the season, this is a big decision for John and his family and it is something that they are now considering”.
During the club’s match against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night some Chelsea supporters attempted to stage a demonstration, with banners held aloft demanding he be kept at the club for another year. It’s unclear whether the demonstration made any difference to the situation, though it’s unlikely to be the case seeing as it’s believed the meeting over the former England captain’s future took place earlier in the week.
Terry couldn’t play for the Blues in Wednesday night’s game, having been sent off for a second bookable offence during Chelsea’s match against Sunderland last weekend. As he’d previously been sent off earlier in the season the usual one match ban was extended to two matches, meaning he’ll also miss the season’s final game against the new Premier League champions Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The announcement of the new offer should quell the anger of Chelsea fans, with some supporters’ groups planning to sing his name throughout the game against the Foxes as well as holding up more banners and signs in support of their captain. There were fears that it might overshadow the end of a disappointing season for the defending Premier League champions.
Antonio Conte, the Italian manager who is due to come in as Chelsea’s new head coach after this summer’s European Championships in France, favours playing with three at the back and is believed to be planning to introduce that system to his new players during their pre-season campaign. That might allow Terry to play for longer, given that the two defenders alongside him could do a lot of the running for the 35-year-old.
Guus Hiddink, Chelsea’s interim manager who will depart the Stamford Bridge club after this weekend’s game, admitted during his press conference earlier today that he’d been telling the club to ‘cherish’ their legends. He said, “I talk to the people inside every now and then. I’m always in favour, generally speaking, that players, ex players – I’m not talking about John now – have a lot of influence in the culture of a club”.
”When the players say goodbye to a club they love”, Hiddink continued, “And come back, in whatever task, I’m in favour. Maybe that’s also for John in the future. I don’t know. He is already 21 years in this club. I saw an image of him recently coming in as a youngster. It’s huge, 21 years. That’s why they become legends. You must cherish those legends for the future as well”.
Terry made his Chelsea debut in October 1998 and has so far made 703 appearances in all competitions for the club. During that time he has won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup five times, three League Cups, the UEFA Europa League once and the UEFA Champions League once also. He’s been Chelsea’s player of the year on two occasions, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year once and has been featured in UEFA’s Team of the Year four times.
The defender’s career has not been without controversy, however. In 2010 a super-injunction was imposed on the British media by the High Court refusing to allow them to cover allegations that Terry had had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the former girlfriend of his Chelsea and England teammate Wayne Bridge. Perroncel denies the affair to this day, though the allegations were enough to see Terry stripped of the England captaincy.
Then in 2011 the police investigated allegations that Terry had racially abused Anton Ferdinand, the Queens Park Rangers player, during a match between QPR and Chelsea. It was alleged that Terry had called him a ‘f*cking black c*nt’, though Terry always strenuously denied the allegations. The police charged him with using racist language, though the judge in the case later found him not guilty. The Football Association, however, charged him with using “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour”, charging him £220,000 and banning him for four matches. He announced his retirement from England international duties on the eve of the FA’s hearing.