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Dein’s Cole’s Apology
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has apologized to Ashley Cole for not doing more to keep him at the club.
Cole was one of the highest-rated left-backs when he controversially left Arsenal for London rivals Chelsea in 2006.
“His contract was renegotiated and we didn’t offer him the right kind of money and in the meantime Chelsea did.
“And then there was this clandestine meeting. I got a call one day from a reporter from the News of the World at the time.
“He said ‘we have a hot story in the press that your player Ashley Cole is actually signed by Chelsea, I think you should come see us’.
“So I went to their office and they showed a signed statement from a waiter in a restaurant, in a hotel where Cole was meeting Chelsea.
“He was an Arsenal fan, the waiter, clearly, and he told the News of the World the story and it broke on the spot. That was really the end of that.
“It was a big shame because Ashley was a local, he was an Arsenal boy, and I regret we didn’t do enough at the time to keep him at the club.
“It was also at the time of the construction of the stadium and the financing, tensions were raging over how we were going to finance the new stadium and we were watching every penny.
“As a result, we didn’t do enough to keep him and I regret that in hindsight. So Ashley, if you’re listening, I’m sorry.”