Football: 'I must find out the real answer'

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RUUD GULLIT, the deposed Chelsea manager, yesterday again rejected claims that he had been greedy. "I feel I've been very badly treated after all I've done for the club," he said on BBC's Football Focus. "If they'd really wanted me they would have come back with an offer, like they did first time. Of course, I have my suspicions but I want to know the answers from the other side. Unless I can find out it will be a question mark over me for the rest of my life."

He added: "People say I am greedy but it's incredible because otherwise I would also have asked for money for being a manager. They said they only wanted me to be a manager and now they have signed a player-manager. It doesn't make sense and that's why I think there's something else going on. It's nothing to do with money."

The Chelsea managing director, Colin Hutchinson, claimed he had offered Gullit a house, a car and lavish bonuses as well as an annual salary of pounds 1m. Gullit has said the club never made an offer to him but has admitted asking for pounds 2m a year. Now Hutchinson has insisted he made his offer to Gullit in a meeting nine days ago, but that the Dutchman had wanted a deal that would have cost Chelsea pounds 4m a year in total.

Hutchinson said: "The gap was too wide and he was aware when he left the meeting on 5 February that there was no further room for negotiation. I thought Ruud was very crafty at his press conference when he admitted he had asked for pounds 2m but what he forgot to say is that he was seeking pounds 2m a year net and, of course, it is well known in that scenario that the club picks up the tab for tax."