When Chelsea, armed with Roman Abramovich’s warchest, completed the signing of Adrian Mutu from Parma for £15.7m during the summer of 2003, it was thought that they had secured the services of one of Italian football’s hottest properties.

Indeed, Parma head coach Cesare Prandelli said of the Romanian at the time of his departure to Stamford Bridge that he was the best player in Italy last year and he has all the qualities to be a great player in the Premiership. The former manager added that the player also had an exceptional left foot and at 24 he can go on to be a top-class player.

Initially, it seemed that the hype was warranted as Mutu scored four goals, including a brace against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, during his first three Premier League outings. However, the goals soon dried up and following the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager in 2004, Mutu saw his starting opportunities at Stamford Bridge further limited.

It was believed that he had been made available for transfer by Chelsea just 12 months after his arrival, yet the 25-year-old would leave the West Londoners under somewhat of a dark cloud 10 years ago today.

Earlier that October, Mutu had tested positive for cocaine. Numerous negotiations took place, which ended with Chelsea sacking the centre-forward with immediate effect.

Chelsea, in an official club statement revealed that the want to make clear that the club has a zero tolerance policy towards drugs. The statement continued that it applies to both performance-enhancing drugs or so called ‘recreational’ drugs. They have no place at the club or in sport. In coming to a decision on this case, Chelsea believed the club’s social responsibility to its fans, players, employees and other stakeholders in football regarding drugs was more important than the major financial considerations to the company.



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