September 04, 2006

Gallas 'issued own-goal threat': Chelsea say they sold William Gallas because he threatened to score an own goal if he was selected for their first game of the season. He also initially refused to play against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals last spring, all in an attempt to pry more GBP out of the Abramobank.

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 03:33 PM - 15 comments

If Chelsea cannot back this up they're in for a huge libel suit and if they can will Gallas be in for the dock?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:34 PM on September 04, 2006

Why is Chelsea playing this out in the media? This seems unnecessarily vindictive and risky.

posted by psmealey at 05:47 PM on September 04, 2006

If he genuinely said he'd deliberately score an own goal, then I think what Chelsea are doing is totally fair. You don't hold your employer to ransom like that. Strike, yes... But threaten to do something like that... Say his was the only goal. That means the other team walks away with 3 points. That could save them relegation, meaning due to this selfish cock, another team, one that shouldn't be going down, would go down. Think about the larger ramifications of this assholes threats. Go Chelsea! Crucify the fucker. As for a huge libel suit... Fairly certain that Chelsea can afford FAR better lawyers than him, and justice always goes to who has the most expensive lawyer.

posted by Drood at 05:59 PM on September 04, 2006

Um, yeah, Drood. Try the decaf. And maybe read the article, where Gallas denies the charge. He didn't score an own goal, but he did strike by not traveling with the team to America. He also requested a transfer. This is a case of one person's word against another, and Gallas is rather adamant that he did not say what Chelsea says he did. I haven't heard of anyone else being able to substantiate the charge either. Gallas was a popular player with the fans from what I have read, and many were upset that in order to get Cole they had to give up Gallas. Perhaps this was a way for Chelsea to try and save face by painting a popular player as something other than a team player? Personally, I don't believe a word that arrogant Jose Mourinho says. And ignorant to play this out int he press. I hope this motivates Gallas and the rest of the Arsenal squad when the two play each other on 10 December.

posted by scully at 06:20 PM on September 04, 2006

This thread makes me think of this one. Messy ending to a relationship, crazy, hurtful and unverifiable accusations from one party, the other (at least publicly) just happy to get the hell out. One would think that an outfit as high-status as Chelsea would have a mindset that wasn't so ... petty. Oh well. Chelsea are certainly easy to hate, ain't they.

posted by chicobangs at 06:48 PM on September 04, 2006

I think airing your dirty laundry in public is in ridiculous poor form, but, where would the EPL be WITHOUT baseless accusations?

posted by igottheblues at 07:51 PM on September 04, 2006

For what it's worth, my understanding is that under U.K. libel law, the allegedly libeling party (in this case, Chelsea) has to prove that the statement it made is true, whereas under U.S. libel law, the burden of proof is on the libeled party (in this example, Gallas) to prove that the statement made is not true. So the difference in burden of proof basically makes it easier to get a libel judgment in the U.K. Basically, unless someone has Gallas on tape saying that he would score OGs, he would likely win any libel case (assuming all the elements of a libel case are met and no exceptions apply).

posted by holden at 10:05 PM on September 04, 2006

So in other words, Chelsea is either completely truthful or completely stupid.

posted by dusted at 12:28 AM on September 05, 2006

Or that Abramovich has so much moola he's not bothered about any potential law suit. Personally I interpret it like the break up of any relationship: take what either party claims with a pinch of salt.

posted by squealy at 03:55 AM on September 05, 2006

I would be stunned if a player of Gallas's stature and age would have made such a childish threat (he has no history of such behavior to my knowledge). I'm almost as stunned that, if it is actually, that Chelsea would be classless enough to reveal it. As a result of this piece of trash in the news, everyone ends up looking a little worse.

posted by psmealey at 07:19 AM on September 05, 2006

Contrast this with Arsene Wenger's remarks on selling Ashley Cole. He had nothing but praise for a man whom most of the fans had learned to scorn. This is all bad form really and smells of sour grapes.

posted by trox at 11:00 AM on September 05, 2006

As a Chelsea fan, this tawdry episode saddens me. Despite the fact that Gallas was unhappy for much of his time there, nobody can seriously question his application and professionalism on the pitch. Case in point his goal in the last minute against Spurs to win the game. Chelsea's statement fails to name the person(s) to whom the alleged remarks were supposed to have been made, although this doesn't mean Gallas didn't say them. Even if he did, I seriously doubt he would have carried out his threat as this would not have boded well for his future career. Jose needs to cut the hubris attitude and show more class. As for any lawsuit, it will be settled out of Court. Whether Gallas said it or not, Chelsea will "find" a witness and the whole sorry affair will be swept under the carpet where it belongs.

posted by niall at 11:26 AM on September 05, 2006

All the Chelsea fans I know are saddened and upset by this statement by the club, regardless of what happened. The episode is behind the club, and this can only sully both their reputation and a great servant of the club for many years. Even if the remarks were made, we can't know what the context was, and this washing of dirty linen in public is verging on the obscene.

posted by walrus at 03:01 PM on September 05, 2006

Don't underestimate the French players. Two months ago no one would have said "Zidane will headbutt a player in the final". A headbutt, an own goal, who the hell knows what any of them are thinking of doing next. I honestly doubt that Gallas would ever be so stupid as to score an own goal on purpose. But if he said it, a big IF, then he deserves to be run out of football. Even if said in the context of negotiations. The real question is: What the hell ever happened to signing a contract and honoring it. If Chelsea had decided that they didnt want to play or pay Gallas anymore, do you think he and/or his agent would have taken it lightly? I seriously doubt it.

posted by urall cloolis at 07:32 PM on September 05, 2006

Sort of on topic. There was a letter to The Fiver (Guardian) today from a Liverpool fan noting that Djimi Traore had been trying this stunt for five years before they finally gave him a transfer. Heh heh.

posted by owlhouse at 08:50 PM on September 05, 2006

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