Anorak | Is Chelsea’s John Terry A Teflon-Coated Odious Chancer Or The Misunderstood Hero?

Is Chelsea’s John Terry A Teflon-Coated Odious Chancer Or The Misunderstood Hero?

by | 26th, October 2011

IS John Terry, the hard-to-like Chelsea and England captain, a racist?

Footage shows Terry mouthing the words black c**t and fu*king knobhead during his side’s defeat to QPR.

The allegation is that he directed the words towards Anton Ferdinand, the QPR defender who is of mixed-race.

The video does not show all of Terry’s sentence. The opening part is obscured by Ashley Cole’s head. Terry says his sentence began with the words: “Oi! I never said…”

Terry says he uttered the words without racist intent. Says Terry:

“I thought Anton was accusing me of using a racist slur against him. I responded aggressively, saying that I never used that term.

The story makes the front page of the Sun .


The Mirror :

“Give Me The Truth”

The back of the Mirror yells”


The paper opines:

“Defender to lose captaincy if guilty in race row”

No. If Terry is guilty he will lose everything. His career will be over. And that would be right. Ron Atkinson would attest to that. Atkinson was the ITV pundit, a former Manchester Untied manager, who told viewers that Marcell Desailly, the Frenchman who was himself once captain of Chelsea was a lazy nigger” . Atkinson’s career was over.

The Sun reports:

ANTON FERDINAND will tell the FA’s probe into the Loftus Road race row that he does not agree with John Terry’s account of what happened. The FA yesterday agreed to launch an investigation into the bust-up, after Ferdinand gave his version of events to QPR boss Neil Warnock and FA officials. Ferdinand was said to be ‘stunned’ when he studied England captain Terry’s account of the controversy.

The experts take a view:

Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea manger:

“How can such a small incident based on speculation arrive to a situation of such proportions with the England captain? It surprises me… He has put out his statement and we fully back John. John is a player who represents this country to the highest level internationally. He is a player of great responsibilities. He said to me the incident was a big misunderstanding. That’s why he put his statement out straight away. I find it strange when people don’t trust the words of a representative from your country.”

Matthew Syed, The Times:

John Terry is the most unfortunate man in Britain. How else to make sense of the litany of misunderstandings that have afflicted the Chelsea captain and which have served cruelly to undermine his reputation?
The most recent incident involves video footage that appears to show Terry racially abusing an opponent at the weekend. Terry admits to using racist language (and, to judge from the video, using it in an aggressive way), but he claims that he was stating the words to deny having said them an earlier spat. To put it another way, he has been misconstrued.

It is not the first time, poor chap. In December 2009 he was filmed showing a group of businessmen (actually undercover reporters) around the Chelsea training ground in return for £10,000 in used £50 notes. At the time, many inferred that he was seeking to enrich himself in direct contravention of his club’s rules. But this was another misapprehension. According to Terry, £8,000 of the cash was destined for charity.

Earlier that year Terry had been the victim of another misunderstanding. The story centred on an e-mail sent out by a company called Riviera Entertainment, which read: “John Terry is available to create effective brand awareness and endorse products and services globally.” And later: “John Terry is: British sporting hero; England’s football captain; World Cup 2018 ambassador; Football icon; Dad of the year 2008; Voted as one of the World’s most influencial [sic] people.” According to Riviera, it was acting on the explicit instructions of Terry and his advisers, but Terry was having none of it. This was another case of misunderstanding. “An e-mail inviting commercial endorsements for me has been published,” he said. “This e-mail was sent without my authority or knowledge and was not approved by me (or those advising me). I have nothing further to say on the matter.”

In February 2010 (anyone else getting a sense of déjà vu?) Terry was accused of exploiting the England captaincy for commercial gain. According to reports, his box at Wembley (which he was allowed to hire at thousands of pounds below the market price as a perk of the England captaincy) was being touted out for £4,000 in cash. This was, again, a case of crossed wires. Terry patiently explained that he had no knowledge of the proposed transaction and that he was an innocent victim of circumstances beyond his control…

Indeed, looking at Terry’s career in the round, it is difficult to find a single episode where he has been in the wrong. What looks like dodgy behaviour is merely a case of not knowing all the facts, or misinterpreting his motives, or failing to see the bigger picture…

Either way, what seems clear is that there are really only two possible views to have of Terry. One is that he is the most misunderstood man in Britain, someone who has endured an astonishing run of bad luck and misinterpretation. The other is that he is an odious and reprehensible chancer who should never have been appointed (or reappointed) to the England captaincy. Make your own minds up.

But racism is something else. You should not use a man’s past ‘misunderstandings to condemn him for what he is now accused of. Syed may not admire Terry, but he should stick to the facts of this case. Profiteering and cheating are ugly but racism is abhorrent. Terry, like all footballers, should be judged on their behaviour and action on the pitch. This is why the charge of racism during a match is so potentially damaging.

Rory Smith, Independent:

There is an element of Teflon about John Terry. His misdemeanours off the pitch, from the reported disrespect for the victims of 9/11, through the allegations of financial impropriety to the allegations of marital infidelity, would have claimed the personal and professional lives of lesser men. With Terry, nothing has ever quite stuck.

Only they have stuck. The papers quote them whenever Terry is in trouble.

Judging by his comments yesterday, his Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas, would attribute that to the fact that Terry remains a natural leader for his country, a fine “representative” for the nation, if not a paragon of its virtues. His heart on his sleeve, Terry’s lionhearted courage and evident patriotic pride allow him to rehabilitate and redeem himself every time…

After all, this is an offence which comes during the three weeks of the “One Game, One Community” campaign run by the Kick It Out campaign, a group dedicated to ridding

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Posted: 26th, October 2011 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink