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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
Cole fears Arsenal career is over
Arsenal defender Ashley Cole
Arsenal defender Ashley Cole believes he may never play for the club again.

Cole, 24, who on Wednesday was found guilty of approaching Chelsea and fined 100,000, blames vice-chairman David Dein for his contract dispute.

"I think it's a broken bridge that is impossible to mend. I blame David Dein for trying to force me out of the club I love," he told the News of the World.

"They've left me feeling there is no way back, that they don't want me to put my beloved Arsenal shirt on again."

Cole added: "Can I ever forgive them? I really don't know. I've supported Arsenal since I was seven but they have hurt me.

"They have let it get to this stage and they have let me down. I'm more upset than angry, I have been there a long time and they are not prepared to look after me."

The left-back was particularly scathing of Gunners vice-chairman Dein.

"Dein didn't show me any respect and treated me like a little kid," said Cole.

"I am now convinced a section of the Arsenal board don't want me.

"What else am I supposed to think when my own vice-chairman drags me through the ordeal of an official enquiry?

"What else am I meant to think when he fails to deliver a new contract I was happy with and I thought - because of what he said - was in the bag?"

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein
Ashley has two years left on his contract, which we expect him to respect
Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein

Speaking on Thursday - after Cole had been found guilty of breaching Premier League rules - Dein underlined Arsenal's intention to keep the player at Highbury.

"It is a delicate time at the moment," said Dein.

"He has two years left on his contract, which we expect him to respect, and then we will try very hard to extend his contract.

"He came through the youth ranks and is an Arsenal player."

Cole is also unhappy with manager Arsene Wenger - who he believes could have supported him more through his contract negotiations.

"I wish I'd had more support from Arsene because he is someone I respect so much," he said.

"I still wouldn't sign for another Premiership club because I couldn't imagine playing against Arsenal. If necessary I will let my contract run down and leave on a free in two years."

He became unhappy that the Gunners were 5,000-a-week short of his pay demands and went to a meeting with Chelsea officials to explore other options.

But the Premier League found Chelsea and their manager Jose Mourinho guilty of 'tapping up' Cole and fined them a total of 500,000, as well as fining the Gunners defender.

Cole's agent Jonathan Barnett has vowed to clear both their names after Cole's fine.

The defender's legal representitive Graham Shear added: "At the end of the day, the truth will out and we will find what the right result is here.

"I saw Ashley give evidence to the inquiry and, this is part of the reason why I was amazed at the decision of the inquiry - I don't think Ashley is capable of lying.

"He sat there and gave a very, very full and honest account."

Cole currently earns 25,000 per week but wanted 60,000-a-week in his new contract. Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are both rumoured to be interested in the 20m-rated left-back.

Interview: Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein

Agent vows to clear Cole's name
03 Jun 05 |  Arsenal
Cole to launch appeal after fine
01 Jun 05 |  Arsenal
Chelsea, Mourinho and Cole fined
01 Jun 05 |  Premiership
Cole case could 'lead to chaos'
02 Jun 05 |  Premiership


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