'Ash! Are you listening?' said a virtually hyperventilating Jonathan. 'I’m here in the office and David Dein is saying they aren’t going to give you £60k a week. They’ve agreed £55k and this is their best and final offer. Are you happy with that?'
When I heard Jonathan (Barnett) repeat the figure of £55k, I nearly swerved off the road. 'He is taking the piss, Jonathan!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I suppose it all started to fall apart for me from then on. I’d trusted Mr Dein to push the deal through.
Those were the words of Ashley Cole, writing in his 2006 autobiography 'My Defence'.
Writing at the peak of his powers and just after he had made the shock move from Arsenal to rivals Chelsea, Cole became a hate figure for his greed - an extra £5,000-a-week for a man already a millionaire and living a lifestyle many of us dream about.
The nickname 'Cashley' has not gone away.
Ten years later and Cole is probably glad he pushed for that extra money after it was revealed how much he will be earning with new club the Los Angeles Galaxy.
With Major League Soccer imposing a strict salary cap, the club had to get creative when attracting their new signings to California. Cole has been recently joined by former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong and Belgian international Jelle van Damme.
The trio joined one of the best squads in MLS, where high earners Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Giovani Dos Santos already operate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Cole will command a salary of just $300,000 (approx. (£205,000) next season.
Don't worry too much for Cole, however, he is still getting some of his salary from Roma, who agreed to buy out his contract in December.
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