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Football: Chelsea: Gallas' own goal threat.

Byline: By ADRIAN CURTIS

CHELSEA claim unhappy French defender William Gallas threatened to score an own goal and refused to play for the club before he was sold to Arsenal as part of the deal which took Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge.

The Premiership champions took the unprecedented step of issuing a statement to inform fans about the lack of respect the defender showed the club in a bid to get a move away.

The statement revealed how he initially refused to play against Liverpool in last season's FA Cup semi-final and how, if selected to play against Manchester City in the first game of this season, he threatened to score an own goal, get sent off or make deliberate mistakes.

The club statement read: "Chelsea believes it is important for our supporters to be made aware of the full facts regarding William Gallas and the lack of respect he showed to the fans, the manager and the club.

"Chelsea made William Gallas a very substantial and attractive new contract offer to stay towards the end of last season. This was rejected.

"The issue was purely one of money, despite his public comments that he wanted a new challenge, to play abroad and so forth. These were just a smokescreen to cover up the fact he was hawking himself to the highest bidder.

"He initially refused to play against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final last season in an effort to force an increased contract offer.

"Before the first game of the season against Manchester City, he refused to play.

"He went on to threaten that if he was forced to play, or if he was disciplined and financially punished for his breach of the rules, that he could score an own goal or get himself sent off, or make deliberate mistakes."

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Ex-Chelsea star William Gallas
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2006
Words:308
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