GUS POYET has revealed that Chelsea promised him that he could leave for FREE if his wife hated life in London after joining the club in 1997.
The Uruguayan, 54, moved to the Blues from Real Zaragoza and went on to help them to FA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup joy during his four years at Stamford Bridge.
However, the former midfielder had his doubts about leaving Spain for England and worried that his partner would struggle to settle in the capital with the pair both unable to speak the language.
But he has now explained how an ingenious decision by Chelsea’s then chief executive Colin Hutchinson helped solve the problem.
Poyet was offered a staggering clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for NOTHING if he and his family did not like it there.
According to the Daily Star, he said: “It was a life changing decision for me that I found a challenge.
“I spoke zero English and my wife just a little. It was a pivotal moment in my life and I needed to get it right.
“I had a family – two young boys who were just four and two years old – and I needed to make sure we would be happy in London.
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“That’s when Colin put the clause in my contract. He said I could have a free transfer after a few months if my wife didn’t like London and we couldn’t settle.
“It was an unprecedented thing to do and showed the club’s confidence that it would work out.
“Joining Chelsea changed my life. So much so, English is still my home today.”
Poyet scored 49 times in 145 matches for the Blues before leaving for Tottenham.
But he explained how he struggled to adapt to English life until he was recovering from a knee injury.
He added: “Making this country my home wasn’t easy. I mainly spoke French at the training ground with Frank Leboeuf.
“With English, I struggled to pick up at first. And I had to listen to Dennis Wise all day, which didn’t help me at all!
“Do you know how I learned to speak English? Because I got injured! I was out for a very long time and it was torture watching my team-mates play and not being able to help them.
“Terry Byrne in the medical department was doing my rehab, working with me every day. He would talk to me but I would never speak back.
“He just said one day: ‘Gus can I help you with the language?’ I didn’t think it would work.
“Every day, bit by bit he would speak with me and we started to understand each other.
“Thanks to Terry, I learned to speak English, which is lucky because before that I’m not sure what language I was speaking at times!”
Poyet would go on to manage both Brighton and Sunderland on these shores and is currently in charge of the Greek national side.
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