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John Terry should accept punishment and damage to reputation – if only he had apologised at beginning for using racist language

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The long-winded saga that finally found John Terry guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand has not only blacked the name of the former England captain, it has embarrassed the Football Association and Roy Hodgson.

Everyone in football knew Terry would be punished by the FA – despite being cleared by the criminal courts – because he had already admitted using racist language during his July court case. That is the real reason Terry announced he was quitting international football on the eve of the FA hearing, because once the governing body confirmed the case was going ahead a guilty verdict was inevitable.

The FA should hold their head in shame for allowing this to drag on for almost a year. The disturbing thought is was this a decision taken for commercial reasons because they wanted Terry at Euro 2012 or was it simply bad judgement.

You also have to question the judgement of England boss Hodgson who last month said he wanted the Chelsea man to be “freed” – presumably because he was hoping Terry would carry on playing for the national team. Hodgson’s decision to leave Anton’s brother Rio out of the Euros was blatantly made because he wanted Terry in his squad. Now he is left without his first choice one wonders if Hodgson will reconsider bringing back the experienced Ferdinand. Now that would be twist to this ridiculous soap opera.

In the meantime, it is up to Terry to decide if he wants to drag things out a little further by appealing against the four match ban and £220,000 fine imposed by the FA. The temptation to do so will be fueled by financial considerations well beyond the size of the fine, because his blackened name hugely damages his marketability.

At the four-day Wembley hearing, Terry vehemently denied abusing Anton Ferdinand, sticking by his courtroom defence that when he used the words “f****** black c***” he was challenging what he believed the QPR defender had accused the Chelsea man of calling him.

In my opinion, this is Terry’s last chance to do the right thing and accept both his punishment and the damage to his reputation. For once it looks like there is no escape and karma has had the final say. Had he held up his hands at the very beginning and apologised  for using racist langauage, I doubt anyone would have accused him of being a racist.




September 28th, 2012 at 12:19 am

To pick John Terry and leave Rio Ferdinand out of Euro 2012 is a disgraceful thumbs up for racism

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It's black and white: John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are poles apart

It's black and white: John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are poles apart


On the face of it Roy Hodgson has picked a visionary path by opting to give youth a chance at Euro 2012 – but to accept that view without question would be to avoid the elephant in the room that threatens to blacken the reputation of the new England manager and has split the nation down the middle.

When Hodgson declared that he was omitting Rio Ferdinand “for football reasons” it was a controversial statement that did not sit comfortably with a large section of the football community who feared that this was a convenient way of side-stepping the rift between John Terry and the brother of Anton Ferdinand, the player the Chelsea skipper is accused of racially abusing.

Given the chance to reinstate Rio to the England squad following the double fracture to the jaw that has ruled Gary Cahill out of Euro 2012, Hodgson has this afternoon opted for the inexperienced Liverpool defender Martin Kelly – a right back! Aside from Terry, this means that England’s only remaining recognised centre backs are Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Phil Jones.

To suggest that the Manchester United defender is out of form or unfit are hugely exaggerated. Ferdinand made 38 appearances for United this season and was ever present in the critical final stages.

Anyone who now doubts that Hodgson has been influenced by the knowledge that Terry and Ferdinand have fallen out would be naive at the very least.

Ferdinand indicated as much when he tweeted to his 2.8 million followers “What reasons?????!!! as he openly questioned Hodgson’s “football reasons” stance over his squad selection that will send England into a major tournament as the most unpopular national team ever to leave these shores.

Forget the simplistic argument that a man is innocent until proven guilty. Dismiss any suggestion that Terry’s inclusion will improve England’s chances in Poland and the Ukraine. Do not be sidetracked by the fury in certain quarters that Liverpool will have six players in the squad of 23. The reason for England fans turning against their country is summed up in two words: John Terry.

Terry, who will get the chance to clear his name in court after Euro 2012, denies the charges against him. In the meantime, he has damaged England more than any player in the history of the game – and the tragedy is that Terry, Hodgson and the Football Association all fail to recognise this fact.

The reality is that Terry’s toxic presence in this England squad is like a cancer that has eaten away at the very heart and soul of the nation’s football team.

Even if England did over-perform and do better than expected, for millions of football fans any success at Euro 2012 with Terry in the team would leave a bitter taste.

Whether or not Terry is found guilty of racism, the real sting in the tail is that England go to a major tournament defending the reputation of a man who has been accused of racism. To do so in a tournament where the hosts have a reputation for failing to tackle racism only magnifies that position. To omit a player because he had the strength of character to support his brother and make a stand against racism makes England look weak on an issue where we have done more good than any country in Europe.

When the new England manager said he does not care about Euro 2012 because his real focus is the next World Cup, he indicated he was going to give youth a chance. But that statement coupled with his omission of Ferdinand in favour of Terry may come back to haunt him over the next couple of weeks.

Revenge? Roberto Di Matteo has restored lost pride – but Barcelona too good for Chelsea . . . and so are Real Madrid & Bayern Munich!

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Blues skipper John Terry is still launted by Barca's injury time winner in 2009

Blues skipper John Terry is still haunted by Barca's injury time winner from Andres Iniesta in 2009


Winning the Champions League has become an obsession for Roman Abramovich and Roberto Di Matteo has kept the Russian’s dream alive against all the odds by guiding Chelsea into a semi-final showdown with defending champions Barcelona. But the harsh reality is that the Blues are unlikely to feature in next season’s competition unless they go on to win the tournament – and in the final four they are the rank outsiders.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all have a touch of class a cut above the men from Stamford Bridge. Barca, in the semi-finals for the fifth successive season, are bidding to become the first side to successfully defend the European Cup since AC Milan in 1990 – and if they achieve that goal it will add weight to the argument that this is the greatest club side the beautiful game has ever seen.

But the beauty of the world’s most popular sport is you can never take anything for granted. And that is what makes Chelsea’s semi-final with the favourites so fascinating. It is a scenario that suits interim manager Di Matteo because the experts all agree they are the weakest team left in the competition, despite beating Benfica in both legs of their quarter-final.

No one expects Chelsea to go any further and that is what gives  them a fighter’s chance of pulling off a shock because they have nothing to lose. The Blues will also remember how they took Barca to the brink the last time they met at this stage in 2009 and the Catalans were rescued by a last gasp winner after surviving a remarkable number of strong penalty appeals.

I still expect Lionel Messi and his team-mates to progress to the final. But do not be surprised if  Di Matteo’s men push Barcelona all the way in their two-legged contest for the right to play Real or Bayern in the Final in Munich’s Allianz Arena on 19 May.

FLASHBACK: Arguably Chelsea’s greatest European triumph came against Barcelona in 2005 when  John Terry’s header sealed a 5-4 aggregate win and sent the Blues into the last eight of the Champions League. It was the night. Chelsea raced into a three-goal lead in 19 minutes, with Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff on target for Jose Mourinho’s side. Barca pulled two goals back before half-time, Ronaldinho scoring from the spot after Paolo Ferreira handled. Then Ronaldinho  scored a stunning second. But Terry’s 75th minutes strike made it a decisive 4-2 win on the night.


 You’ve got to admire Di Matteo – but success for Abramovich’s sack the manager policy would be bad for football


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Sack Fabio Capello – and appoint English-born manager to ditch John Terry and re-call Paul Scholes: FA’s chance to unite nation

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The men in suits forever ridiculed by critics as the ‘jokers’ who run the game but ‘don’t know what they’re doing’ have a unique opportunity to make all the doubters eat their words.

There is a lot of absolute rubbish being written and said by so-called experts who have defended Fabio Capello’s ill-advised decision to take on the Football Association over their decision to strip John Terry of the captains armband.

The reality is the FA’s only mistake was not taking this action months ago when the crown prosecution charged Terry with racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

Forget innocent until proven guilty. That is irrelevant. Terry will get the chance to clear his name in July. But it is inconceivable that England can go into a major tournament led by a skipper charged with being a racist.

Not only to protect England, but – whether he likes it or not -this is in the best interests of Terry. Can you imagine the controversy that would have engulfed England at Euro 2012 with Terry facing the world’s media and constantly being reminded about his racism charge.

The FA have been world leaders in their campaign to kick racism out of football. But the possibility that their skipper could become a convicted racist within days of the tournament ending would have made England a laughing stock.

Fabio Capello told Italian TV: “I completely disagree with the FA about the John Terry decision. I have told that to the chairman.”

Fabio Capello told Italian TV: “I completely disagree with the FA about the John Terry decision. I have told that to the chairman.”

In any other walk of life anyone in Terry’s position would be suspended and removed from the firing line until after their court case.

For Capello to gamble his career by taking on his employers and so publicly supporting Terry is a shockingly poor decision for so many reasons. It is such a bad call one suspects the Italian secretly wants to be fired so he can walk away from an England job he has never mastered.

The reality is that Capello has made his position as manager untenable. Not just by challenging the FA’s authority but by inexcusably creating problems in the England dressing room

By making it public knowledge that his captain will no longer be his first choice undermines what already appears to be a fragile relationship with his players – who already know he is walking away when his contract expires in the summer.

By quickly ruling himself out of being re-instated as captain, Rio Ferdinand confirmed his lack of respect for Capello. And I am absolutely certain he is not the only one doubting the Italian’s ability to learn from his mistakes during and since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Imagine how the atmosphere would change if the FA have the balls to sack Capello and give the fans what they really want . . . an English-born manager.

Imagine if that man was Harry Redknapp after he successfully defends his Court case and kicks into touch those charges of alleged tax evasion.

And imagine if the new English manager leaves Terry out of his Euro 2012 squad altogether and successfully persuades this nation’s best midfielder Paul Scholes to make a sensational comeback.

There is no doubt in my mind Scholes will accept the challenge if he his given the respect he deserves and gets the call from a manager who wants his team to play a passing game.

The ginger haired genius has already publicly stated he wishes he had played at the last World Cup and Scholes is universally recognised as the best England player of his generation.

There is also no doubt that Redknapp will come to England’s rescue if he gets the call. But even if that is not possible there are several other Englishmen who could do better than Capello.

My message to FA chairman David Bernstein is simple. Step up and become the leader the English game needs by giving Capello the boot, ditch Terry altogether and appoint an English manager who will build his Euro 2012 team around Scholes.


For his guts and determination on the pitch John Terry derserves our respect but . . .

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Whatever you think of the controversy surrounding Chelsea and England skipper John Terry and his suitability as a role model, you have to admire his guts and determination on the football pitch.

In the face of adversity Terry is a master at producing his best form and leading by example, as he did to earn Chelsea a point in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Thursday evening – just 24 hours after learning he is facing a criminal charge of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in a match at Loftus Road in October.

Terry has had a couple of dodgy displays – in particular when Arsenal won 5-3 at Stamford Bridge – but his manager Andre Villas-Boas was not far off the mark when he said: “John’s level of performances have increased since the incident happened. He is a fantastic player, his talent and commitment are never in doubt.”

Terry was taunted throughout the match at White Hart Lane by the home support. But he ensured the game ended level with an injury-time goal-line clearance from Emmanuel Adebayor, who had given Spurs an early lead before Daniel Sturridge drew Chelsea level.

As I have said numerous times before I think it is in everyone’s best interests if Terry steps down as England captain because he has brought shame on this role too many times before, whether or not he is found guilty of racist abuse. But a guilty verdict does not necessarily make him a racist and he will always be respected for his guts and determination on the pitch.


Now John Terry will be charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand it makes sense to step down as England captain

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Now that the Crown Prosecution Service have ruled that John Terry will be charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand surely he must lose the England captaincy.

Fair enough that the Chelsea skipper must be given the chance to prove his innocence. But it makes sense to relieve Terry of his England role while he prepares for his appearance before West London magistrates on 1st February 2012. He has been recommended for prosecution for ‘a racially aggravated public order offence.’

England’s next match is the Wembley friendly with Holland on February 29. Far less embarrassing for Terry to step down now than to be stripped of the captaincy if he is found guilty in court.

Reacting to the news , Terry said: ‘I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible. ‘I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.

‘I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.’

The case will not go to the Crown Court and the maximum punishment available is a fine of £2,500

Whatever the outcome of the court case, it is important to recognise that even if Terry is found guilty that does not necessarily mean he is a racist person. Whether or not a person is genuinely racist does not excuse that person from being racially abusive.


December 21st, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Andre Villas-Boas must drop skipper John Terry if he wants to prove he is strong enough to manage Chelsea

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Ridiculous as it may sound Andre Villas-Boas’s Stamford Bridge honeymoon is already over – and the rookie Chelsea manager could be out of a job before the New Year.

While Roberto Mancini has spectacularly come of age as a Premiership manager by turning Manchester City into a genuine force to challenge Europe’s best, the problem facing AVB is that his boss Roman Abramovich has no patience. The Russian billionaire will be counting the disastrous cost of failure if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League and that will now be a worry after two successive home defeats to rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.

With skipper John Terry – embarrassed by Arsenal when the Gunners trounced the Blues 5-3 last month – again the fall guy as Liverpool won 2-1 at the Bridge, Villas Boas must decide whether or not to stand by his captain.And that hot potato is a dilemma that could define his future in West London.

The Portuguese manager is only 34 years old and has only been sitting in the Stamford Bridge hot seat for 18 matches. But his appointment is only ever going to work if Abramovich makes it clear he is giving him the time he needs to re-build the Blues. And there is less chance of that happening than Carlos Tevez winning a Mr Manchester popularity contest. Especially with Abromich already making it know he would love to reappoint Guus Hiddink

Time for Terry to get the boot – and Capello can go with him

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John Terry's abuse of Ferdinand - link here to the video courtesy of The Guardian

John Terry's abuse of Ferdinand - link here to the video courtesy of The Guardian


Whether or not John Terry is guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at QPR, it was not acceptable to see the England captain spitting venom at Rio’s younger brother in front of a worldwide TV audience.

Terry may be an inspirational figure to some of his team mates.But that does not make him fit to be a role model and captain of his country. How many times is the overhyped Chelsea skipper going to be allowed to bring shame on England? Fabio Capello made the mistake of reinstating Terry after he’d sacked him as skipper following the Wayne Bridge affair and ironically replaced him with Rio Ferdinand.

It will be interesting to see if Capello stands by his man now, whether or not Terry is found guilty by the FA. Personally I’d like to see Terry booted out for good – and he can take Capello with him. I’d rather see England lose than succeed with Capello and Terry at the helm.

Terry, who claims it has all been a “big misunderstanding” is in line to be recalled for Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal on Saturday after being left out of the midweek Carling Cup win at Everton. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has announced it is assessing evidence from the incident after receiving a complaint.

Earlier, Ferdinand thanked fellow players for helping him cope with the situation.

“I’d like to thank players like Jason Roberts  for the support they have given me,” Ferdinand told the Telegraph. “Not just professionals at other clubs but my team-mates at QPR. They’ve been fantastic for me. Having team-mates around you, like I have, is nice to feel and nice to see.”

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Oh brother - Imogen Thomas is the latest kiss and tell wannabe being pimped by the media

Oh brother - Imogen Thomas is the latest kiss and tell wannabe being pimped by the media


There is no defence for famous footballers or any other sportsman cheating on their wives and girlfriends – but what do you expect to happen when predatory wannabe wags hunt down their prey when they are playing away from home and promise no strings attached sex.

I am sorry but this is blatant prostitution – only worse. The girls dress provocatively and will do anything to bed their idols, invariably promising not to kiss and tell. But it always ends in tears and the guys only realise the true cost when the media magnify their mistakes and take the side of the spurned hussy with unrelenting headlines and huge lashings of spin.

The media love nothing better than the chance to destroy the reputation of someone famous. The bigger they are the greater the prize. And the more money to be made by the media and the jilted lover who always says her “heart is broken” and she never intended to bed a married man or ruin his life.

The media love to play the freedom of speech card when they criticise the legal system that allows famous people to hide behind super injunctions that protect their identity. But why do we need to read about everyone’s private life purely to feed the public’s insatiable desire for gossip and scandal.

If we really cared about the wife or girlfriend who has been allegedly let down by their partner, we definitely would not want it to be all over the media. Public humiliation is even more upsetting than whatever has or hasn’t gone on behind closed doors.

The only winners are the media – who make vast sums out of pedaling these stories – and the prostitutes and their pimps who feed the media machine  with the ammunition in the first place.

There are exceptions to the rule of course. When John Terry had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend it crossed the line because it affected the team and undermined England’s preparation for the 2010 World Cup. We all had a right to know what was going on then. But do we really need to know who the married Premier League footballer is who had a fling with someone whose biggest achievement in life was appearing on Big Brother? That last sentence tells you all you need to know about this so-called fragile woman.

The media are no different than the pimps who peddle these stories and are hypocritically enabling a world of prostitution where famous sportsmen are considered fair game whatever the consequences.

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AFTER all the hysterical criticism of Wayne Rooney over the past few days Chelsea felt the full force of Manchester United’s genious No.10 who was at his imperious best in tonight’s titanic Champions League quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.

The game was decided by a dream goal that represented everything great about the beautiful game when Michael Carrick found Ryan Giggs with the accuracy of a quarter-back and the  Welsh wizard set up Rooney with an outstanding first touch and inch perfect lay-off that was steered home with inch-perfect precision.

But there was a lot more about this majestic performance than a golden strike that gave United the precious away goal and the victory they craved. After a run of four straight defeats on the ground where the Reds have every right to believe results went against because of poor refereeing decisions, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men dug deep to deliver a display of true grit and pure quality.

How ironic that Chelsea ended the night blaming the Spanish referee for refusing to award a debatable penalty in the dying second when Patrice Evra challenged Ramires.

How the Sun reported tonight's Champions League winner by Wayne Rooney

How the Sun reported tonight's Champions League winner by Wayne Rooney

The difference this time – regardless of whether or not referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco got this one right – is that  the best team on the night won the match, unlike the previous contests that went against a dominant United team when Chelsea received blatant assistance from errors by the match officials.

From start to finish tonight Manchester United were a cut above a disjointed Chelsea side that inexplicably opted for Fernando Torres at the expense of the Didier Drogba-Nicolas Anelka partnership that is clearly heir best partnership.

Torres started with Drogba and finished alongside Anelka. He hit the post and saw a header denied by a great save from Edwin Van Der Saar. But in the end the Spaniard’s shabby attempt to con a penalty out of the referee when he clearly dived in he box probably counted against Chelsea when Ramires’ late appeal for a spot kick was a borderline decision that for once went against the home side.

No one is foolish enough to believe other than this titanic struggle is still all to play for in the second leg. But United are now the favorites for next Tuesday’s conclusion at The Theatre of Dreams. And as Fergie underlined tonight it’s the aura of Old Trafford and what will be a fever pitch atmosphere created by United’s fans that will count just as much as that first leg lead.

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