Cheryl Cole: I told Ashley Cole to sign for Chelsea, not Real Madrid
Then Arsenal defender Ashley was given the chance to join the top Spanish team last year but ended up moving to Chelsea FC instead.
Cheryl told GQ magazine recently: “Ashley was offered a hell of a lot of money to go… the deal was there on the table.”
“[But] it would have meant that I’d have had to give up my career, which I wasn’t prepared to do. Why should all my dreams and aspirations be shattered for the sake of his career?”
“I’ve worked just as hard as he has to get where I am and we spoke about it at length. Either I’d have had to move out there with him and commute, or give up my career at a time when we’d finally been accepted as a band and it was almost cool to like Girls Aloud.”
But making the decision still wasn’t easy: “It made things difficult. .. There was a lot of disagreement, and there were a lot of tears being shed.”
And it’s also been hard to live with and Cheryl said in some ways she regrets the decision: “For the hurt it has caused him and his family, yes. .. I stopped him living his dream playing out there.”
“[But] For me and my career - selfish reasons, I know - then no, [I don’t regret it]. It would have been equally selfish for him to go there, so there had to be some sort of compromise.”
“I almost begged Ashley to sign for Chelsea not really knowing what that would mean. .. I didn’t realise the extent to which moving from Arsenal to Chelsea would cause so much hurt between the two of us, and to Arsenal fans. And for that I do apologise.”
“He wouldn’t have got half as much s**t if he had gone there [to Madrid] rather than Chelsea. And I blame myself for a lot of that.
“Looking back, with all the different advice he was getting and me saying, ‘Don’t go abroad’, it must have been hard for him. He went through hell. His eyes were dead until recently.”