here and make up your own mind about it, but I’m going to have a rant either way.
Winter says that Terry should be forced to apologise for being found guilty of making a racist remark by an independent Regulatory Commission (bearing in mind the FA’s definition of independent is a loose one) and believes the former England captain to be a fool if he decides to appeal, despite the fact he is well within his rights to do so and has declared his innocence from the beginning.
The journalist points to the written judgement to explain his reasons, but fails to question quite how it could be passed without the burden of proof which is a must for incidents considered serious under the FA’s own rules and there are several other flaws in the FA’s decision, which were highlighted by Dan Levene of the Fulham Chronicle. (Read it here and follow @BluesChronicle on Twitter. He went further and this is also worth a read here.
I believe Winter is letting his profession down here. He’s not a stupid man and in his line of work he’d have a knowledge of the law and must look at this seeing that something doesn’t quite add up here, especially when FA logic dictates that Terry lied about kneeing Sanchez in the back so must be lying about what he said in relation to the incident involving Anton Ferdinand also. The FA also describe Terry’s defence as contrived despite Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle describing Terry as a credible witness despite saying that it was “highly unlikely” that Ferdinand accused Terry of racially abusing him, but added that it was entirely possible that the Chelsea defender was challenging what he thought had been said to him.
Terry didn’t deny using the words, only the context in which they were said and if he’s to be banned plus fined merely for saying them then that is fair enough. If it is a misunderstanding between himself and Ferdinand leading Terry to apologise for repeating what he thought he hard then that’s also fair enough as it’s foul language that has no place in society.
Ferdinand also openly admitted abusing Terry at the time, also against the rules, but has not received any comeuppance and could have/should have been charged after breaking the following…
Rule E.3(2)(a) Not acting in the best interests of the game.
(b) Acting in a manner that is deemed to be improper.
(c) Bringing the game into disrepute.
(e) Use of threatening words/gestures.
(f) Threatening and insulting behaviour.
(g) Use of abusive words/gestures
(h) Abusive behaviour.
(i) Use of indecent words/gestures.
(j) Indecent behaviour.
(k) Use of insulting words/gestures
(Courtesy of @DannyDoes)
Then there’s his grievance with Cole. Apparently Mr Winter ‘nearly swerved off the road’ when he heard that Cole had called the FA a bunch of twats for implying that he was a liar (is he taking the piss?)
Cole lashed out, it was unwise, but why should footballers be stopped from using Twitter for trivial instances such as this? It would just increase the distance between fans and players even further. Several journalists also remarked that Cole shouldn’t speak about his employers in such a way, remind me who employs Cole again? As one of my Twitter followers said, it’s about time those at the FA realise that the England players are representing their country and their fans, not playing for the suits at FA headquarters.
Anyway, that’s my rant over. I’m not suggesting that either of these players has never done anything wrong and I’d be foolish if I ignored their previous wrongdoings but I’d like to see a bit of balance when it comes to journalism and believe the likes of Winter have only presented one side of the story. In an age where footballers are repeatedly caught out for their mistakes and openly mocked for doing so, I could never imagine Winter describing the likes of Rio Ferdidand, Wayne Rooney or Ryan Giggs being labelled ‘toxic’. In fact, everyone’s often eager to crawl up their hole, especially when it comes to Giggs who is by far more immoral than Ashley Cole is.
Winter is right about one thing, when it comes to Chelsea Football Club, all the talking should be about Roberto Di Matteo’s side’s great start to the season and the silky skills of players like Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar – but it would be too much to ask to concentrate on the positives, wouldn’t it?