Chelsea file Bates complaint

August 17, 2006

LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - English champions Chelsea have filed a complaint with the Football Association against former owner Ken Bates, accusing him of bringing the game into disrepute.

The club said Bates, now chairman of Leeds United, had made 'rude, insulting and inappropriate comments' when he accused Chelsea two weeks ago of making illegal approaches to players.

Bates, who sold Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, said he was reporting the London club to the FA for making illegal approaches to sign Tom Taiwo and Michael Wood and when attempting to sign Daniel Rose from second division Leeds.

'There are football procedures in place to deal with that specific dispute,' Chelsea said in a statement on Thursday.

'Chelsea will comply with those, will not discuss the case publicly other than our previously stated position and will contest it vigorously.

'However there are also existing football rules that prohibit rude, insulting and inappropriate comments being made about other club owners, chairmen and personnel.'

Chelsea said Bates had made a reference to Chelsea's directors that was 'discriminatory...in terms of race, nationality and religion'.

'Such comments have no place in football, a sport which is rightly committed to fighting racial intolerance and bigotry,' the statement added.

In June 2005, Chelsea were fined 300,000 pounds ($562,500) and given a suspended three-point deduction by the Premier League following an investigation into claims that they had 'tapped up' Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.

Cole and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho were each fined 75,000 pounds for their part in the affair.