John Terry reveals how he stopped Chelsea flight from leaving until he was put in first class

John Terry has revealed how a stand-off with Andre Villas-Boas on a flight at the beginning of his short-lived reign at Chelsea ensured he was doomed before a game had even been played.

Terry, 46, insists the Portuguese lost the dressing room ahead of a pre-season in 2011 after his high-profile appointment following great success with Porto.

Villas-Boas, who was compared to Jose Mourinho at the time, lasted less than a year at Stamford Bridge and the Blues would subsequently win the Champions League and FA Cup just months after he was sacked.

And now, in an interview on Simon Jordan’s Up Front YouTube channel, Terry has recalled the moment Villas-Boas attempted to display his authority over the club's senior players.

He said: “When AVB came in, we went to Hong Kong I think when he was first manager, we got on the plane and I'm sitting on economy on a 13-hour flight.

“And we've got Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah, a couple of other young players, all in first class.

“And this was part of AVB going, 'No player is bigger than me, everyone's the same.'

“It turns out Lamps [Frank Lampard] is flying out first class and I'm flying back first class, so if you fly out at home in first, you come back in economy.

“But basically it wasn't good enough, so I'm going, 'No no, we're not going anywhere until these young players go back in economy, and the first team players that have built this club to where we are today go back in first.'

John Terry made a stand on a flight with Andre Villas-Boas (Getty Images)
John Terry made a stand on a flight with Andre Villas-Boas (Getty Images)

“And we're on the plane, people are up and down, AVB comes up, 'What's the problem?', I'm going, 'Well we're not going anywhere until the young players move.'

“And to be fair to the young players, they're going, 'Listen JT, this is really uncomfortable, we will go back.'

“I'm going, 'No no, it's not your decision, he [Villas-Boas] has to own it', so this is one of his first things in front of everyone.

“In the end it spins, so all first team players fly first, younger players go back in economy, that's how it should be.

“These younger players are striving to be where we've got, and he tried to make a statement on day one and he failed instantly.

“Because I promise you, the plane wasn't going, and if it was going, it would have gone without myself, Frank and Didier [Drogba].”

Villas-Boas was axed just eight months into his reign with just 19 wins out of his opening 40 matches in all competitions, and the Blues outside the top four.

His assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo took over, initially on an interim basis, to guide the Blues to FA Cup and Champions League glory.

Villas-Boas subsequently has spells at Tottenham, Zenit St-Petersburg, Shanghai SIPG and Marseille.