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Chelsea players warned as headlines about John Terry and Ashley Cole tarnish image
Published : 19 Feb 2010 13:33:46
Gourlay, who was speaking on behalf of the club's owner Roman Abramovich, organised the meeting together with Ancelotti in response to weeks of lurid headlines involving club captain John Terry and his England team-mate Ashley Cole. Gourlay reminded the players of their responsibility to protect the image of the club and warned of 'severe disciplinary consequences' should any player step out of line in the future. Related ArticlesWolves v Chelsea: match previewChelsea plan £70m spending spreeMourinho: Chelsea should have stuck with mePremier League tablePremier League fixturesSport on televisionThe meeting, which lasted around 10 minutes, was the club's response to weeks of headlines that have tarnished Chelsea's image and led to Terry being stripped of the England captaincy by national coach Fabio Capello. The message from Gourlay was blunt and to the point and it was made clear to all the players that the club would not tolerate any further public embarrassment. Gourlay's speech was followed by a talk from coach Ancelotti, who reminded the squad and the staff of the need to protect the image of the club. "We had a meeting this week with the players," revealed Ancelotti. "It was a good meeting. Ron Gourlay was there as well. "We spoke to the players and explained to them the behaviour that is required of the players in this club. "Now they know very well what they have to do and what behaviour is expected of them when they're in the Chelsea shirt. "We are interested, me and the club, in protecting the image of this club. Not only the players and the manager, all the staff - the people who work in this club - have to protect that image. "That is one of the most important things, the image of the club. We want to carry that forward. And I think the players and all the staff know very well what they have to do. "All the players were there. Ron spoke for the club, for the owner, and the players listened. "It was a private meeting and I don't like to speak about what exactly was said. But, to confirm, the most important thing is that everybody has to pay attention to protect the image of the club." Players who are found guilty of tarnishing the club's image will be dealt with severely by the club, although no punishments were set out in the meeting. It is a clear indication that Abramovich has had enough of his club being in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and although Gourlay arranged the showdown, it is understood he was speaking on behalf of the Russian billionaire. Although it is unlikely Chelsea would sack any player found guilty of tarnishing the club's image in the future, it is understood that disciplinary action would be harsh and immediate. The club's stance clearly has the support of Ancelotti, who in previous weeks had gone out of his way to insist he was not bothered what his players did in their private lives as long as it did not affect their performances on the pitch. The Italian will take his side to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday looking for a victory that will keep them top of the Premier League table. But he has been rocked by the loss of England midfielder Frank Lampard with a virus and Brazilian defender Alex as a result of a knee injury sustained in training.