Eddie's book tells a slightly different story - relevant extract below:-
"After I left, I was told there were all kinds of statements and rumours coming from the Club that I had demanded a very expensive car plus this and that. Yes, a normal Club car was discussed and that was it. I never ever got an answer to that but that wasn’t such an important issue to me.
Now I am going to tell you the truth. Are you ready? I didn’t ask for anything! Let me say it to you again. I didn’t ask for anything! Brian Mears came to my office a couple of days after the season ended and after we had gained promotion he offered me a certain amount of money which I assumed was an offer from him and the board for me to continue as manager of Chelsea Football Club. I thanked him and told him that after I had a chance to look at it that I would be happy to sit down and discuss it with him. He was very abrupt and told me there would be “no discussion.” I wondered to myself why I was being treated this way. This wasn’t the Brian Mears I knew. I realised very quickly that this was the board speaking, not him. I asked him, “Mr. Chairman, are you seriously telling me I will not be allowed to discuss my own circumstances with you and the offer you have made to me?” “Yes, that is correct.” he replied. He opened my office door and left.
His attitude toward me hurt me deeply. It was so out of character for him. I had actually felt we were becoming closer friends. He would always ask me if he could sit beside me at the front of the coach when we would be travelling to away games and coming home. I got the impression other managers hadn’t spent much time with him when perhaps he wanted to talk about their tactics before and after games. I would always take the time to explain to him my tactics before games and I always remember how grateful he was to me that I would take the time to do that. I thought he was a very nice man and regardless of what happened between us and I still do.
Not long after the season finished we were getting ready to fly to the United States for a three-game tour. So I decided to let things sit for a while hoping we might get the opportunity to talk about my situation. While we were on tour, I approached him on a couple of occasions while we were there and although he was very polite to me, he told me again he couldn’t discuss it with me. This was the most difficult time for me and I really didn’t know which way to turn. All I wanted to do was to discuss my situation with him.
When we arrived back in London, I thought about things for a few days and convinced myself that I really didn’t have any other choice but to resign my position and I wrote a letter to that effect to the Board. Several days later, Brian Mears entered my office and, very guiltily I thought, told me that the Board had received my letter and had decided to accept my resignation and immediately left my office. I threw a few things into a couple of boxes and left my office for the last time and the Club I have loved all my life.
That was in 1977. Now, at this time, I feel sure all you good folks are perhaps scratching your heads right now and saying to yourselves, “How could this have been allowed to happen? It doesn’t make any sense!” No, and it didn’t to me either and it was to exact its toll on me for many years. Perhaps you can imagine how many times I have gone back to this nightmare in my head trying to figure out why all this happened to me. It took me many years, but I believe I have. Nothing makes any sense to you right? And nothing made any sense to me either, right?
I believe it was about five or six-years after I left Chelsea and I was coaching in Cleveland Ohio. I was at home one evening and my telephone rang. I picked it up. “Hello, Eddie, this is Brian Mears. Eddie, could l speak to you for a minute?” I feel sure you can all imagine my surprise. “Yes, of course,” I said. “Eddie, I am in London right now, but I wondered if I could ask something of you?” “What would that be?” I asked. “Eddie, I would like to fly to Ohio in the next couple of days to see you if you would allow me…” “I don’t see what that might accomplish for either one of us, Mr. Chairman,” I said, “What do you want to see me about?” “Eddie, I would prefer not to discuss it on the telephone; it is too important for me to do that. I need to be with you. I have something I need to tell you. Would you let me do that Eddie? I can’t tell you just how very important it is to me.” “I guess you had better come over then…” I told him.
A couple of days later he arrived at my home in Cleveland. “How nice it is to see you again Eddie!” “You too, Mr Chairman, please come in.” We exchanged some pleasantries and then I asked him, “Why are you here Mr Chairman?” He seemed very nervous. “Eddie, I have something I have to say to you and I wanted to tell you personally and to your face.” “What would that be Mr. Chairman?” “Eddie, we treated you so terribly at Chelsea and I am so ashamed of myself. I am so sorry Eddie, can you ever forgive me?” I looked at him and wanted to say to him have you any idea of the pain and suffering you have caused me in my life. But I didn’t. What I saw was the man who I once thought was becoming my friend a long time ago. He was visibly upset and looking at me waiting for my response. “That’s not a problem Mr Chairman, of course I forgive you.”