John Terry used his speech during Chelsea’s end of season celebrations to confirm what the club’s fans have wanted to hear: That he would like to stay at Stamford Bridge past this summer.
There has been some debate surrounding Terry’s future, with the club’s hierarchy leaving it very late to make any sort of confirmation regarding whether or not they would be offering him a new contract. That appeared to be solved last week when it was announced that the Blues had offered the club captain another year long contract.
There remained confusion heading into yesterday’s match against Premier League champions Leicester City, however, with Terry stating that the offer he’d been made was in a ‘different role’ for the club. His contract expired at the end of the season and in January the player himself said that he would not be staying as the club hadn’t offered him an extension.
35-year-old Terry was close to tears as he addressed the Stamford Bridge crowd after the defending Premier League champion’s final game of the season against the Foxes yesterday afternoon. The supporters were chanting, “John Terry, we want you to stay”, causing the centre back to reply, “We all want the same thing. I want to stay, the club knows that, the fans know that”.
Terry didn’t play against Leicester, having been suspended for the last two games of the season after being sent off for two bookable offences in the club’s 36th game of the league campaign against Sunderland last weekend. He did join the guard of honour that the West London club gave to Leicester’s players, however, and also joined his teammates in the traditional end-of-season lap of honour after the game.
A Chelsea spokesman said of the club’s offer of a new contract on Friday, “With it coming so late in the season, this is a big decision for John and his family”. It has left the former England captain time to consider his options, with neither the player himself nor the club confirming what the new role offered to the player would entail.
Terry also had some good words to say about his outgoing boss Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman was brought in on an interim basis to replace Jose Mourinho, with the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ having been sacked by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, last December. It came on the back of the Blues enduring their worst start to a top-flight campaign since the 1960s.
With Antonio Conte due to take over the reigns of the management position at Stamford Bridge as soon as he’s led Italy to the European Championships in France this summer, Terry believes that the West London club will be back fighting at the top of the table next season.
He said, “This has been a difficult season, we are where we deserve to be in the league. The fans have stuck with us. Thank you. I can assure you we’ll be back fighting for this title next year. On a personal note, this has been tough for me, very emotional. Before I sign off I’d like to say thank you to Guus Hiddink. He is a great man”.
Terry has so far notched up 703 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions since he made his debut for the club in 1998. During that time he has won four Premier League trophies, five FA Cups, three League Cups and one each of the Champions League and Europa League.