Chelsea deny Andre Villas-Boas had former star removed from in-house TV channel


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The Independent Football

Chelsea today denied Andre Villas-Boas had former star Tommy Langley removed from the club's in-house television channel for criticising the manager's treatment of Nicolas Anelka and Alex.

The Blues insisted the decision to dispense with long-serving pundit Langley while an internal review was undertaken was made by senior editorial staff and was not forced by Villas-Boas.

Langley had branded Villas-Boas "petty", "vindictive" and "unprofessional" over allegations he had prevented Anelka and Alex to park their vehicles in the first-team car park after they had been banished from the squad for handing in transfer requests.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "For a number of reasons, we are reviewing the structure and output of Chelsea TV.

"We are waiting for these reviews to be completed before we make a final decision regarding staffing and content."

Langley, who was Chelsea's player of the year in 1979, has been a Chelsea TV analyst for a decade and does co-commentary as well as co-hosting discussions before and after matches.

Despite Chelsea's denial, Villas-Boas has previously reacted angrily to criticism from former players, with Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and - most notably - Gary Neville all succeeding in getting under his skin.