New Storm in Cole 'Tap' Row

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW HODGSON

THE sensational row between Chelsea and Arsenal over Ashley Cole was reignited today after new evidence emerged which appeared to confirm that Jose Mourinho did tap up the England defender.

A new witness has come forward who saw Cole, Mourinho and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon discussing a move in a plush London hotel last week.

According to the Sun newspaper, the witness is an employee at the Royal Park hotel, where the meeting is said to have taken place last Thursday. The witness has signed an affidavit for the newspaper to back up their allegations.

Publicly, Kenyon and the club have steadfastly refused to deny the claims.

But one Chelsea insider who was said to have been present at the meeting privately claimed earlier this week that it hadn't taken place.

Now, it is understood, Chelsea have amazingly changed tactics with one source close to the club suggesting they will not deny it happened. The developmentis a potentially devastatingone for Chelsea, who were confident of escaping punishment over the claims. They could now face a points deduction from the Premier League, which could hit their hopes of a first championship in 50 years.

The newspaper witness is quoted as saying: "I'm an Arsenal fan and was quite shocked to see such a well known Gunners player in the company of the Chelsea management team. …