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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 2, 2007

Sports minister stands by Chelsea comments

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe is refusing to retract his controversial remarks about John Terry's salary being 'obscene'.

Chelsea were infuriated by Sutcliffe's remarks about Terry and the club's finances and have asked for a meeting with the minister.

However Sutcliffe today was sticking to his guns despite admitting some of the figures he quoted yesterday were incorrect.

It is understood the minister tried to call Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon yesterday to explain his remarks.

Sutcliffe said on BBC Radio Five Live: 'I am not attacking players. This is about whether football can sustain the losses that Chelsea have.

'I stand corrected - I said Chelsea's losses were £250million and I understand it's £220million over two years, and John's salary is not £150,000 a week it's closer to £130,000.

'To the ordinary man and woman in the street that would be seen as obscene because they cannot relate to that.

'Link that to ticket prices and people are being priced out of the game. It's not an attack on individuals - John Terry is a great football player and a great England captain.'

Sutcliffe said football was facing a future where most clubs could not compete with the few at the top - and raised the spectre of a salary cap.

He added: 'In some sports there is a salary cap. I'm not saying that would happen in football but that could be a route through.

'We are going to end up with four or five clubs competing because they are able to pay the wages. What will happen to those clubs that can't and then take a risk?

'It's the road to ruin if we keep going at this level. We will see a small number of clubs paying out huge amounts of money and that would be to the detriment of the whole game.'