Billy Clifford Escapes Smoke Bomb Fallout, But Jacob Mellis Gets The Sack

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Billy Clifford (C) of Chelsea shoots at goal during the FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.on sixth round match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge on March 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

No, not actual fallout. That would be one heck of a smoke bomb. Billy Clifford has escaped the metaphorical fallout of the smoke bomb prank he and Jacob Mellis pulled at Cobham the Friday before Andre Villas-Boas was fired - the prospect, according to the Mail, will only receive a fine for his part in the incident, which saw emergency teams called to the Chelsea training ground.

Mellis, as expected, was not so lucky. The midfielder was the one who actually set off the grenade, and as a result the club have terminated his contract. This isn't really news to those paying attention, as Mellis was on trial at Burnley last week, something that wasn't going to happen if Chelsea had any intention of keeping the 21-year-old around.

This will probably be painted as part of Chelsea's failure to adequately develop their young players, but sacking Mellis was almost certainly the right move. He's an adult and had been with the club for long enough to know what is and what isn't acceptable, and there is absolutely no way he can have thought setting off a smoke grenade in the workplace would have been ok. Mellis was a decent player, but he was hardly on course for stardom, and clearly has some attitude problems as well. Hopefully Clifford, who has a higher ceiling simply on account of being two years younger, can learn from his fate.

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