Former owner Bates accuses Chelsea of poaching players

  • Other Sport
  • Friday, 04 Aug 2006

LONDON: Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has reported his former club Chelsea to the FA over alleged illegal approaches to players. 

Bates, who sold Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, said the English champions made illegal approaches to sign Tom Taiwo and Michael Wood and when attempting to sign Daniel Rose from the second division club. 

“We have today reported Chelsea to the Football Association regarding the alleged tapping up of three of our young players, Michael Woods, Tom Taiwo and Daniel Rose,” Bates told a news conference in Leeds on Wednesday. 

“We have considerable and great weight of evidence to demonstrate quite clearly, without a shadow of doubt, that Chelsea behaved consistently aggressively in stealing these two players from Leeds United,” Bates said. 

“It is not a question of punishing Chelsea for this latest breach. It is a question of stopping them doing it in the future. 

“Because of the financial strength of the owner, financial punishments alone will make no difference to them at all. 

“We think, therefore, not only a financial punishment should be imposed but other punishments such as deduction of points, banning of registration of new players or suspension from European competitions would be more appropriate.” 

Chelsea were unavailable to comment on the allegations. 

An FA spokesman said: “We have some communication with Leeds but no official complaint has been registered as yet.” 

Chelsea were fined £300,000 (US$562,500) in June 2005 and handed a suspended three-point deduction by the Premier League following an investigation into claims they had 'tapped up' Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.  

Cole and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho were fined £75,000 each for their part in the affair. – Reuters 

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