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Australian pioneer Marston passes away

By ESPN Staff

Chelsea defend skipper Terry over tabloid sting

Chelsea have defended captain John Terry after allegations that he took secret cash payments to lay on a behind-the-scenes tour of the club's training ground.

But the Premier League leaders admitted they would be beefing up security after the revelations in a Sunday newspaper.

It is alleged that the England skipper arranged the backstage visit by an undercover reporter without permission from manager Carlo Ancelotti.

But a Chelsea spokesman said: ''Chelsea FC host a large number of visitors at the training ground throughout the year, the majority of which are made up of club sponsors, our charity partners and supporters.

''The players play a big part in these visits and John Terry naturally has a leading role, hosting a significant number of children and their families this season through our partner charities 'Help A London Child' and 'Right To Play.'

''John has also organised a number of visits for families with sick children as a result of personal correspondence.

''Contrary to media reports and the appearance of edited video this morning the club is confident that at no time did Terry ask for or accept money in relation to visits to the training ground.''

The News of the World claimed that £160,000-a-week Terry took a £10,000 payment, £8,000 of which he wanted to go to the 'Make A Wish' charity for children with the other £2,000 going to a middleman.

Chelsea, however, deny any wrongdoing and say they will be stepping up security procedures.

The statement added: ''Chelsea FC gives our players room to exercise their own discretion when contacted personally with regard to visits and the club keeps security and access to the training ground at Stamford Bridge under constant review.

''However, as a result of the security breach highlighted by today's article we will be further reviewing access to our facilities and clamping down where there are gaps in the process.''

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted he had ''a lot of confidence'' in Terry after Blues had drawn 1-1 against West Ham at Upton Park.

Ancelotti played down the allegations, claiming: ''This is not correct. This is not true. The club, me, the players, have a lot of confidence in John Terry and John Terry did nothing wrong. He was very quiet, very calm, very concentrated for the game. No problem.''

When asked whether Terry had told him the story was not true, Ancelotti added: ''Yes. I have a lot of confidence in my captain.''


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