Chelsea, Bayern eye overturning bans

Both sides to miss key players because of yellow cards

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo admitted on Saturday that he could join forces with Bayern Munich in an attempt to get six yellow cards overturned for the Champions League final.

Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles will all miss the May 19 final in Munich after being booked in Chelsea's semi-final second leg at Barcelona.

Bayern, meanwhile, lost Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo after their own semi triumph over Real Madrid.

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Asked if Chelsea would consider a joint bid with Bayern to get UEFA to change their minds over the bans, Di Matteo said: "If there's any possibility, we would consider it, of course. But I think it would prove very difficult."

Even if both clubs failed in any bid to overturn those bans, Di Matteo called for a rule change next season so an amnesty is introduced after the quarter-final stage.
That would bring the Champions League into line with the World Cup and European Championships.

Blues set to reap in at least £45m

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said the London club were due a big financial boost as a result of their "phenomenal" Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona.

The Blues are set for the biggest television cash pay-out for reaching the final of at least £45 million ($73 million, 55.5 million euros) after a dramatic 2-2 draw in Barcelona on Tuesday, where they played most of the match with 10 men after captain John Terry was sent off.

That result gave them a 3-2 aggregate win and a place in the final against either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

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The £45 million represents European football governing body UEFA's payments of TV cash alone and studies have shown the clubs can double that income from ticket sales, sponsorship and merchandise.

Manchester United had previously held the record pay-out of Champions League television cash at £43.5m last season, but this year earned only £28m as a result of failing to qualify for the knockout stages.

English clubs have topped Champions League television payments for several years as a result of the sums paid by commercial broadcasters Sky and ITV.

Terry apologises over red card shame

Chelsea captain John Terry apologised for his red card moment of madness against Barcelona on Tuesday that will rule him out of next month's Champions League final.

The Chelsea icon was given his marching orders on 37 minutes of an epic encounter at the Camp Nou which saw the Premier League side fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and clinch a 3-2 aggregate win over the Catalans.

Terry's dismissal for a foul on Alexis Sanchez threatened to trigger a drubbing for Chelsea, who conceded a second goal to Andres Iniesta soon afterwards following Sergio Busquets' opening strike.

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However the veteran defender watched from the bench as goals from Ramires and Fernando Torres sealed a remarkable comeback.

Former England captain Terry admitted however that the result was bittersweet as he will be denied the opportunity to lead Chelsea in Munich.

"Sanchez was darting in behind me. I've seen the replay and it does look bad," Terry told Sky Sports.

"I'm not that type of player to intentionally hurt anyone. I've raised my knee, which I maybe shouldn't have done in hindsight. But hopefully people who know me as a person, as a player... I'm not that type of player.

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"I'm disappointed but delighted for the lads. To come here and play the way they did and get the result they did with 10 men... I feel I've let them down. I've apologised to them and I want to apologise to the fans as well.

"At the time, I was bewildered because I was trying to protect myself a little bit, but looking at it on the replay, I've no complaints. I've let the lads down. They've performed brilliantly, so hopefully this doesn't take it away from the players."
 

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