Several great games of football this week (including Reading 5 Arsenal 7 and Chelsea 5 Manchester United 4) and yet it has been a bad week for Football. The Clattenburg Affair is not going to go away.
Chelsea FC have made a formal complaint about the behaviour of Mark Clattenburg. He is alleged to have used inappropriate language, possibly of a racist nature to Chelsea player John Obi Mikel.
If Chelsea FC believe this to be the case and as they have a duty of care to their player/employee then they MUST make a complaint. Yet oddly they are not getting a lot of sympathy in the football world, with journalists or with fans. Of course fans tend to be hypocritical about these things, viewing everything thru a prism of their own team.
But much neutral opinion will reflect that Chelsea FC have a mixed record on racial abuse. They stood by their man…John Terry………their captain currently serving a four match ban for racially abusing an opposing player.
Of course their previous record does not mean that they cannot bring a case against Clattenburg. It is merely an irony.
But seven days ago, Chelsea FC announced their intention to bring a complaint about two such incidents. Their lawyers have now spoken to their players and concluded that there is not enough evidence to bring one of the charges.
Yet the Media have noted that the evidence they ARE bringing in the Mikel Case looks a bit weak. It appears that Brazilian player Ramirez heard a comment which Clattenburg made to Mikel. Ramirez whose English is not good asked fellow Brazilian David Luiz to translate. Mikel apparently did not hear it.
Some two hours after the match, Chelsea FC held a press conference for the journalists still at the stadium and announced the “inappropriate language” used by Clattenburg. What they omitted to say was that a posse of Chelsea players, staff and coaches had gone to the referees changing room fifteen minutes after the end of the game and had been involved in an incident in which someone is alleged to have threatened to break Clattenburgs legs. In itself approaching the referee within thirty minutes of the end of the match is not allowed.
So what are we to make of it? If Clattenburg is indeed guilty, then clearly his career is over. And even a muddled, inconclusive inquiry would probably spell the end for Clattenburg. And even if the allegations are false……….and worse KNOWINGLY false, it could still be the end for Mark clattenburg.
Which begs the question about sanctions against Chelsea if these allegations are false……and worse knowingly false. A four match ban on players? A hefty fine on the club is small change to Chelsea FC and their Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Yet Chelsea FC DO have a problem. It is hard to see Arsenal FC, Everton FC or Manchester United FC acting so badly as Chelsea FC have done in recent years.
A Club with a lot of money…and absolutely no CLASS.