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EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea physio Hancock loses his job despite protests from Terry

Chelsea have dumped their popular physio Dave Hancock despite an attempt by captain John Terry to keep him in his job.

Hancock has left Stamford Bridge this summer, just 18 months after he was headhunted from Leeds United.

Sources blame a series of disagreements with club doctor Bryan English even though Chelsea last night stressed there had been no 'clash of personalities' and that Hancock had simply been the unfortunate victim of a reshuffle within the medical department.

England skipper Terry was persuaded by disgruntled players to lead a delegation to see Hancock reinstated, stressing the value of the bond of trust between a footballer and a physio, but his efforts failed.

As a result, new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari embarked on Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East and Russia without a key member of the backroom team.

To some insiders, the episode is proof that the petty infighting which has dogged Chelsea during recent years continues, while others will also regard it as a sign that the club are no longer willing to pander to the demands of their top players.

Hancock, a lifelong Blues fan renowned within the business for his strong opinions and argumentative style, worked for Wolves and Blackburn before going to Leeds. He was prised away from Elland Road by Chelsea in January, 2007.

'For us, he's the best there is,' said English at the time. 'He has great respect within the game. It wasn't easy getting him but we made sure we didn't get second best.'

Hancock's move to London infuriated Leeds, coming soon after chairman Ken Bates had reported Chelsea to the FA for luring away promising teenagers Tom Taiwo and Michael Woods.

Chelsea, who are now in Macau on the latest leg of their summer tour, last night tried to play down Hancock's departure.

'There was absolutely no clash of personalities,' said a club spokesman. 'There was a restructuring within the medical department and Dave was offered a role within that, which he initially declined. Therefore his contract was not renewed. The club wishes him all the best and thanks him for all his work with Chelsea.'

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