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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck today hit back at criticism of the club and insisted they are not hypocrites for supporting skipper John Terry and at the same time lodging a complaint against referee Mark Clattenburg.
Buck said Chelsea have a “duty of care” for Terry even though he was banned for four matches for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
He claimed the club would have been “crucified” if they had not reported to the FA allegations that Clattenburg used inappropriate language, which Chelsea interpreted as racist, towards John Obi Mikel.
The Metropolitan Police today dropped an investigation into the alleged comments made by Clattenburg.
Prior to that announcement Buck told the Evening Standard: “Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, ‘Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider’. If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.”
He added: “The press seem to juxtapose ‘our support’ of John Terry and what’s going on here and looking at us as being a bit hypocritical. We have to divorce the John Terry situation from this. From our perspective, the latest situation was pretty straightforward. We have an obligation to report what may be misconduct. We did that, in good faith and not maliciously.”
Buck insisted that Terry does not run the club, but admits there has been numerous incidents involving the skipper.
He said: “We have a duty of care to John Terry in loco parentis. Not that, if he did something wrong, we weren’t going to say he didn’t do anything wrong. But we have to support him as a person. That’s different from saying that, no matter what Terry does, we approve.
“I can’t argue with the fact that, over the last 10 years, there have been a lot of public incidents in which Terry and Chelsea were involved. But I don’t accept that we have something in our hearts that says we’re going to chase the referees. It’s just not like that at all, honest.
“Chelsea are not run by John Terry. I don’t know how I can prove it to you but it’s not true. My club is run by Roman Abramovich.”
Buck also insisted the complaint against Clattenburg was not sparked by anger over the referee’s decisions during the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United. The official strenuously denies the allegations that he abused Mikel.
Buck said: “The reaction has been very unfair. We weren’t interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, we had no thoughts of revenge on the referee. He made two obvious mistakes (sending Fernando Torres off and allowing Javier Hernandez’s offside winner) which changed the tide.
“I felt we had the moral high ground, so I didn’t really feel that bad about the defeat or have that feeling in my stomach. I thought we’d be treated very kindly in the newspapers the next day. It (the decision) was made after a great deal of anguish and after talking long and hard that evening about what should we do.”
Buck said FA guidelines and employment law obliged them to follow through with the complaint.
Meanwhile, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay admitted that Chelsea, who last week announced a £1.4million profit, would have been facing another major loss had they not won the Champions League.
He said: “You don’t budget to win the Champions League every year and we were looking down the barrel of the Europa League.
“We don’t ever want to find ourselves in that situation again. The financial difference between the two competitions is vast.
“It would have put a lot more pressure on the commercial side of the business.
“You could still be successful in the Premier League but the monies that come from the Europa League are nowhere near.”
Gourlay said without the cash from the Champions League the club would have found it much harder to start to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
He added: “We’d have still got reasonably close to achieving our goal but we’d have fallen short.”