Blues star­let gets boot for smoke bomb

Midweek Sport - - SPORTS - By RAY WATTS

CHELSEA have kicked mid­fielder Ja­cob Mel­lis out of the club af­ter he ad­mit­ted set­ting off a smoke gre­nade at their train­ing ground.

The Blues con­firmed on Tues­day that they and 21-year-old Mel­lis – who has played for the first team – had “parted com­pany” fol­low­ing a “full and thor­ough” in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent, which took place on March 2.

Team-mate Billy Clif­ford es­caped with a fine af­ter ad­mit­ting he brought the gre­nade – un­der­stood to be from a paint­ball ex­pe­di­tion – into Chelsea’s Cob­ham train­ing head­quar­ters. Clif­ford, 19, is a reg­u­lar in Chelsea’s re­serves and signed a new four-year deal last sum­mer.

Mel­lis, 21, joined the Blues from Sh­effield United five years ago and made his de­but in the Cham­pi­ons League win against Zilina in Novem­ber 2010.

Smoke

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the smoke gre­nade was set off in the re­serve team dress­ing room and trained fire mar­shals had to be brought in.

Play­ers, of­fi­cials and other staff from Chelsea’s re­serve, youth and academy teams ran from the build­ing with hands cov­er­ing their faces be­cause of the thick smoke.

Club owner Ro­man Abramovich was briefed about the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred shortly be­fore train­ing at 10.30am and set off fire alarms and trig­gered a full evac­u­a­tion pro­ce­dure.

It was also the lat­est con­tro­ver­sial episode to oc­cur at Chelsea’s train­ing ground.

Last Fe­bru­ary, Ash­ley Cole ac­ci­den­tally shot and wounded a work ex­pe­ri­ence stu­dent with an air ri­fle.

It is be­lieved Cole did not know the ri­fle was loaded and apol­o­gised to the stu­dent, who did not re­quire hospi­tal treat­ment.

And, late last year, a knife was dis­cov­ered by clean­ing staff in a dress­ing room at the com­plex, although this was thought to have be­longed to a build­ing contractor on the site.

WIN­NERS: But Spear­ing

had to set­tle for a place on the bench against Cardiff

PROBED:

Mel­lis played for Chelsea in

Europe

FINED: Billy Clif­ford

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