Tag Archives: counsel

Steve Clarke reveals Jose Mourinho text message

West Brom boss Clarke reveals congratulatory text from Mourinho after flying start to season

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UPDATED:

12:53 GMT, 27 November 2012

Old friends: Clarke (left) with Mourinho back in 2007

Old friends: Clarke (left) with Mourinho back in 2007

Jose Mourinho has sent West Brom head coach Steve Clarke a 'well done' message after the Baggies' record-breaking start to the season.

The Real Madrid boss, who worked with Clarke at Stamford Bridge, texted the Scot before the club's 4-2 victory over Sunderland.

West Brom's storming start to the campaign is their best since 1953 when they eventually finished second to Wolves – but at least partly made up for that by winning the FA Cup.

Mourinho remains in touch with his erstwhile colleague on a regular basis and Clarke said: 'He sent me a little text before the game at the weekend. It was a nice text and there were a few nice words in it, too.

'There were a few words of encouragement – he told me to keep it going.

'But it was a private text, so I'll keep the rest of it between myself and Jose.'

Clarke joked that he would have to keep his own counsel after he was teased at his press conference prior to Wednesday's trip to Swansea for failing to smile.

'I do believe there are camera shots with me smiling – but that's something I'm going to have to work on in future.'

Flying start: West Brom have won four on the bounce

Flying start: West Brom have won four on the bounce

Flying start: West Brom have won four on the bounce

Ahead of the trip to south Wales, Boaz Myhill will continue in goal due to Ben Foster's absence. Jonas Olsson (calf) and Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) were due to have their fitness assessed on Tuesday.

The Baggies may be chasing their fifth straight victory but Clarke added: 'We are on a good run, we are in a good place but we are not even into December yet. There's still a long way to go. We can't get carried away.'

Chelsea lodge FA complaint over Mark Clattenburg

Chelsea lodge complaint with FA about Clattenburg's 'racial abuse' of Mikel BUT drop allegation regarding Mata

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UPDATED:

19:39 GMT, 31 October 2012

Back so soon, lads

Chelsea and Manchester United lock horns again tonight in the Capital One League Cup – and you can follow the live action HERE

Chelsea have lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association which accuses referee Mark Clattenburg of using inappropriate language directed at John Obi Mikel during Sunday's Premier League defeat to Manchester United.

The club, though, say there is not enough evidence to support the second allegation of abuse towards Spanish midfielder Juan Mata.

The future of Clattenburg could come
down to whether he used the word ‘monkey’ in his exchange with Mikel.
The Consett official categorically denies the allegations.

In a statement on their website, Chelsea said: 'This is a result of a thorough investigation carried out by the club, and led by outside legal counsel, of all information available to us including interviews with a number of players and staff.

'Following Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea FC players by Mr Clattenburg during the game.

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint about the way Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint about the way Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

'Board members began establishing the details of the allegations, speaking to all relevant players and staff.

'After those initial interviews it was clear that the matter had to be reported. The correct protocol for doing so was to report the incidents to the match delegate, and the club took immediate steps to inform him as soon as he was available. It was not a decision the club took lightly.

'Since reporting the matter to the delegate, the club and outside legal counsel have conducted further investigations. Having completed that process we have now followed the correct protocol and lodged a formal complaint with The FA regarding John Mikel Obi.

'There was not sufficient evidence to support a second claim to The FA with regard to the alleged verbal abuse of another first team player.

'We will cooperate fully with The FA and the Police as they each investigate the matter. As events on Sunday are now subject to those investigations we are unable to comment further until those processes are complete.'

Mikel was selected for Wednesday night's Carling Cup tie against Manchester United, and Roberto di Matteo said he had little doubt all his players would be able to focus on football.

He said: 'I am very confident we can fully focus on the game. I always speak to my players before the game and today they are OK to play. I hope we have the right motivation to go out and win this game.'

'We have some suspensions and injuries and it is a chance to refresh the team because we played with 10 and nine men [on Sunday], which cost us a lot.'

Sir Alex Ferguson added: 'I don't think Sunday will make any difference. It is a cup tie so hopefully we can navigate it and progress.'

The Sun newspaper has reported that Nigeria midfielder Mikel, who did not hear the alleged racist slur, was told by team-mate Ramires that he was a called ‘a monkey’ in the match against Manchester United on Sunday.

When Ramires told Mikel that he thought he’d been called ‘a monkey’, at least three members of the Chelsea playing and coaching staff asked: ‘Are you certain’.

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club
CHELSEA STATEMENT IN FULL

'Chelsea Football Club today lodged a formal complaint with The Football Association regarding inappropriate language directed at John Mikel Obi by referee Mark Clattenburg. This is a result of a thorough investigation carried out by the club, and led by outside legal counsel, of all information available to us including interviews with a number of players and staff.

'Following Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea FC players by Mr Clattenburg during the game.

'Board members began establishing the details of the allegations, speaking to all relevant players and staff. After those initial interviews it was clear that the matter had to be reported. The correct protocol for doing so was to report the incidents to the match delegate, and the club took immediate steps to inform him as soon as he was available. It was not a decision the club took lightly.

'Since reporting the matter to the delegate, the club and outside legal counsel have conducted further investigations. Having completed that process we have now followed the correct protocol and lodged a formal complaint with The FA regarding John Mikel Obi. There was not sufficient evidence to support a second claim to The FA with regard to the alleged verbal abuse of another first team player.

'We will cooperate fully with The FA and the Police as they each investigate the matter. As events on Sunday are now subject to those investigations we are unable to comment further until those processes are complete.'

He was questioned by team-mates and staff who asked if, with Clattenburg speaking with such a strong North East accent, the official had said ‘shut up, Mikel’, rather than ‘shut up, monkey’, which has been alleged.

Ramires, who does not speak fluent English is adamant that he heard the slur, although Clattenburg denies the claims and is supported by his two assistants.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sportsmail revealed Clattenburg has admitted privately that he wished he had not sent off Fernando Torres in Sunday's toxic fixture.

There is no facility for Chelsea to
appeal Torres' dismissal. Regulations stipulate that second yellow cards
cannot be rescinded. The Spain striker will, therefore, serve his
one-match ban tonight when the two sides meet again at Stamford Bridge
in the Capital One Cup.

In the days following the controversial match, Chelsea employed independent lawyers to investigate the claims, which included an allegation that Mata was called a 'Spanish t***'.

Chelsea have proceeded with the case, satisfied that the claims game will stand up to the FA’s burden of proof.

The club must satisfy an FA commission 'on the balance of probability', but they also have to negotiate the complexities of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the affair.

The Met confirmed they had acted on a ‘complaint’ from the Society of Black Lawyers after the European champions accused Clattenburg, who has been taken off the Premier League match list this weekend, of using racist comments.

There are suggestions of seething resentment in some quarters at the way Chelsea had made their complaint public and a desire to see strong action taken against them if the official was cleared.

The Metropolitan Police have became embroiled in their second high-profile football racism case in 12 months after the man behind the mooted black players’ breakaway union, Peter Herbert, wrote to them demanding they investigate Clattenburg.

Herbert defended his intervention, telling Sky Sports News: ‘What we don’t want is for it to be swept away under the carpet. It must be subject to a full and proper investigation. It is to lend some seriousness and some weight behind what is happening in football.’

Herbert admitted his complaint was based on reports rather than first-hand evidence but added: ‘We weren’t there but we don’t need to be there in order to report an incident.

Crucial moment: Clattenburg has admitted he wishes he had not sent off Fernando Torres

Crucial moment: Clattenburg has admitted he wishes he had not sent off Fernando Torres

Was there contact Torres was sent off for diving, but this screen grab seems to show Evans making contact

Was there contact Torres was sent off for diving, but this screen grab seems to show Evans making contact

‘This appears to have had some cogency and so it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. I think the Met Police have huge resources, expertise, and I have no doubt that this matter will be resolved and the truth will come out. If we’ve got this completely wrong then, of course, the police will tell us.’

But Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘Involving police or waiting causes a massive festering of the issue, which has continued to cause problems and is not good for the image of the game.

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

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John Terry facing 1m defence bill ahead of FA charge

Terry facing 1m defence bill as Chelsea captain calls on top QC to fight FA charge

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 19 September 2012

John Terry will call on the expertise of 10,000-a-day QC George Carter-Stephenson to fight his FA charge next week.

Carter-Stephenson successfully defended the former England captain at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July after he was accused of a racially aggravated offence towards Anton Ferdinand.

Next week the Chelsea defender fights a separate FA charge of using racially abusive language towards Ferdinand during last October's stormy clash at Loftus Road.

That's handy: The Chelsea skipper will call on the expertise of QC George Carter-Stephenson

That's handy: The Chelsea skipper will call on the expertise of QC George Carter-Stephenson

Terry spent a fortune on legal fees first time around and it is estimated that he could be into seven figures on defence costs by the time the FA hearing is over.

Carter-Stephenson employed junior counsel, as well as being instructed by Terry's Mayfair lawyers, during the original trial.

Although the FA hearing is expected to be quicker, Terry is leaving nothing to chance and has again enlisted the help of team-mate Ashley Cole as part of his defence.

Ferdinand's pre-match refusal to shake hands with the two players last week was decided when he learned that Cole will again be called to give evidence on Terry's behalf.

Cole is among a number of people who have agreed to give evidence in front of the FA's independent panel next week.

Charge: Terry is accused of using racially abusive language towards Ferdinand

Charge: Terry is accused of using racially abusive language towards Ferdinand

Chelsea's former assistant manager Ray Wilkins, who worked with Terry when Carlo Ancelotti was at Stamford Bridge, is also due to appear.

Wilkins told Westminster Magistrates' Court he had never heard Terry use racist language during their long-standing friendship, dating back to Terry's early years at Chelsea.

Terry is determined to clear his name for a second time after a year-long fight against police and FA investigations. The FA will use a lip-reading expert in the hearing.

John Terry race trial: His new test of mental strength

Neil Ashton: Terry's new test of his 'uncanny' mental strength

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 13 July 2012

In the critical hours following accusations that John Terry called Anton Ferdinand a ‘f****** black c***’ at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011, two separate accounts of the incident appeared on his behalf.

According to the back page of the London Evening Standard on Monday October 24, 2011, ‘a source close to Terry’ revealed that the Chelsea skipper had called Ferdinand ‘a blind c***’.

It was, according to the same source, a huge misunderstanding and football’s rolling roadshow would soon find someone else to focus its attentions on.

Clash: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand had an ugly coming together at Loftus Road in October, leading to a court case against the latter

Clash: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand had an ugly coming together at Loftus Road in October, leading to a court case against the latter

That was until television evidence, broadcast live at the time by Sky and tweeted all over the world, contradicted the initial explanation given on Terry’s behalf.

After careful consideration, the Chelsea captain told the Daily Mail, in his own words, the precise nature of his exchange with Anton Ferdinand.

He told Sportsmail on the evening of October 24, 2011, published on the back page the following day, that he had said: ‘Oi, Anton, do you think I called you a black c***’

/07/13/article-2173330-140D6BD3000005DC-822_468x227.jpg” width=”468″ height=”227″ alt=”Change of tune: In the aftermath of the accusations against Terry, different versions of events were published, though only one came from the Chelsea captain himself” class=”blkBorder” />

Change of tune: In the aftermath of the accusations against Terry, different versions of events were published, though only one came from the Chelsea captain himself

In court it was accepted by prosecution and defence counsel that Terry used the words: ‘yeah yeah . . . and… f****** black c***, f****** k***head’ during his exchange with Ferdinand in the 83rd minute at Loftus Road.

If the source who attested to the ‘blind c***’ comment referenced in the Evening Standard was acting with Terry’s authority, it is a remarkable twist to the case.

/07/13/article-2173330-140CE7FE000005DC-657_468x319.jpg” width=”468″ height=”319″ alt=”Not guilty: Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand” class=”blkBorder” />

Not guilty: Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

He accepted that hindsight was a ‘great thing’, but Terry insisted that it was rhetorical.

Apparently he was acting indignantly to an accusation he heard Ferdinand make 20-25 yards away from where he was standing. None of the evidence of the differing accounts and versions was presented to chief magistrate Howard Riddle, but Terry has nothing to worry about after he recorded a ‘not guilty’ verdict At Chelsea’s training ground staff and players were glued to the TV screens, whooping with delight and hugging each other in celebration when the verdict was delivered.

In Riddle’s judgement, he said Terry’s account was consistent and that he had stubbornly rebutted the prosecution’s powerful cross-examination.

Rise above it: Terry has proved capable of not letting off-field controversy affect his performances

Rise above it: Terry has proved capable of not letting off-field controversy affect his performances

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who took to the witness box on Thursday as part of his defence, told the court he had ‘uncanny mental strength’. His reputation among Chelsea supporters is undiminished, perhaps even strengthened by his ability to come through virtually every scrape of his career unscathed.

Trouble appears to confront Terry at every turn, but his resilience is demonstrated throughout his controversial career.

When playing for Chelsea at Burnley on January 30, 2010, he knew that further reports surrounding his alleged extra-marital affair with the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge would surface in a Sunday newspaper the following day. Despite the duress, he scored the winning goal and was mobbed by team-mates.

He was later stripped of the England captaincy, reinstated by Fabio Capello after the 2010 World Cup and deposed by FA chairman David Bernstein when charged with a criminal offence.

In light of his acquittal, he is within his rights to ask to be reinstated by Roy Hodgson.

It is unlikely to happen, but the court’s verdict declares that Terry has done nothing wrong and the football community should respect him accordingly.

Chelsea’s first game of the season at Wigan on August 19 will be the test of that.

Rangers in crisis: Sky won"t pull plug on TV deal

EXCLUSIVE: Sky won't fall: TV giants insist SPL deal is on – even without Rangers

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 17 June 2012

Sky has rubbished claims it is set to pull the plug on Scottish football if Rangers are not playing in the top flight next season.

The satellite broadcaster which, together with ESPN, is three years into a 65million five-year deal, has so far kept its own counsel on the crisis that has engulfed Scottish football since the Ibrox club lurched into administration, before being liquidated last week.

With Charles Green’s Sevco consortium attempting to smooth a passage back into the top flight for the newco Rangers, there is no guarantee the four Old Firm games that are central to the existing deal will take place next season.

Under pressure: Rangers boss Ally McCoist faces an uncertain future

Under pressure: Rangers boss Ally McCoist faces an uncertain future

An improved 80m five-year deal, to supercede the existing agreement, remains unsigned and, barring a remarkable turn of events, looks likely to remain so.

The prospect of the existing agreement being shredded as a result of the ongoing saga looks nil, however. Reports last week claimed Sky were ready to rip up the existing deal if its terms were breached. But a senior London source told Sportsmail that, although a degree of renegotiation might be required in that eventuality, there is no question of the broadcaster walking away.

Sky has never, ever discussed pulling out of covering Scottish football,’ he said.

'We have not discussed that possibility, either with the SPL or any other footballing authority. Nor has that been on the agenda for consideration within Sky, despite all the problems and difficulties being faced by Scottish football at present.

'If Rangers are not in the SPL, that would change things for us, naturally. It would leave a quality hole in Scotland’s top division. Competition would deteriorate and, in that event, we would have to renegotiate.

‘But let us be very clear — we have
always tried to be supportive of Scottish football and have never made
any negative noises or sent any negative messages.

‘Scottish football is still very much in our plans for the future. Walking away has never been on our agenda.’

In the hotseat: Charles Green completed his takeover of Rangers

In the hotseat: Charles Green completed his takeover of Rangers

Sportsmail’s source also stressed that Sky would not try to influence the outcome of the current crisis.

‘We have, in the past, been asked for our opinions, but we believe that football should be run by the football authorities. We are a TV company,’ he said.

The ongoing crisis in the Scottish game will be illustrated on Monday when the SPL releases its fixtures for season 2012-13 with ‘Club 12’ taking the place of Rangers. The club representatives attending the SPL’s monthly meeting will also be given an update on the investigation into alleged double contracts, following Sportsmail’s revelations that off-shore payments were excluded from players’ contracts over a decade.

However, the new incarnation of the
Ibrox club could yet be playing in the top flight, if Green gets the
seven additional votes he requires from the SPL in two weeks’ time.

Such
a scenario is being bluntly opposed by the majority of fans throughout
Scotland, who believe sporting integrity should override any commercial
interests.

Weekend reports
suggested a compromise might come in the shape of a radical revamp of
the Scottish game, which would see the SPL and SFL merge into one body
in time for the new season.

It has been suggested the newco Rangers would begin life in the second tier — SPL2 — with Dundee promoted to the top division.

Dark days: Rangers' future remains in doubt after going into liquidation

Dark days: Rangers' future remains in doubt after going into liquidation

The fudge would be designed to punish the new Rangers by ensuring they do not re-enter at the highest level — while keeping sponsors and TV companies onside through the expansion of the SPL to two divisions.

Promotion and relegation play-offs for all divisions, a pyramid system for league entry and a rethink on TV revenue distribution would be the other facets of the plan being hatched within the SFA.

However, David Longmuir, chief executive of the Scottish Football League, said he was against any such plan.

‘It would be a newco scenario and the only way we could accommodate any new application would be to create a gap in the Third Division through the play-offs with teams shuffling up,’ he said. ‘We would then judge every case on its own merits.

‘There would be no provision for any newco Rangers to go into the First Division rather than the Third.

‘The decisions that have to be made by the SPL and SFA in the coming weeks are far more crucial than the knock-on effects that come to the SFL.

‘There are no winners in this situation. The good of the game is balancing sporting integrity with the finances available and to be realistic about the future.’

Brian Kennedy"s bid for Rangers remains firmly on track

Kennedy at Ibrox to press home bid as race to take over crisis club hots up

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UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 21 March 2012

Brian Kennedy's bid for Rangers remains firmly on track — following a guided tour of Ibrox from manager Ally McCoist.

The Cheshire-based businessman travelled to Glasgow on Wednesday for further talks with administrators Duff & Phelps.

And there were also fresh discussions with McCoist over team rebuilding plans during a tour of the stadium and trophy room.Sportsmail first revealed Kennedy’s interest in the troubled club just days after Rangers entered administration — and his interest in offering roles in some capacity to former managers Graeme Souness and Walter Smith.

Saviour Brian Kennedy was taken around Ibrox on Wednesday

Saviour Brian Kennedy was taken around Ibrox on Wednesday

Sources played down the significance of the visit, cautioning against any claims that the Sale Sharks owner is closing in on securing preferred-bidder status. All of the bidders have held talks with McCoist this week, with more scheduled.

Sportsmail understands, indeed, that the fate of Kennedy’s bid, plus the mystery fourth bid from an unnamed UK consortium, may now rest on the efforts of administrators to have a controversial 24.4million deal with Ticketus declared null and void in Edinburgh’s Court of Session.

‘Brian has merely offered himself for the subs’ bench if no one else emerges,’ said a source close to the Edinburgh-born businessman. ‘He is keeping his own counsel and asking questions. Much will depend on the Ticketus court case. It’s a case of wait and see where that’s concerned.’

Lord Hodge is expected to reach a decision by tomorrow and lawyers for the administrators have warned that the fourth bid by the unnamed UK-based consortium — plus a potential fifth — will be cancelled if the agreement struck by discredited owner Craig Whyte is upheld. The court was also told earlier this week that one of the original three bidders were likely to follow suit.

Four potential bidders have so far declared an interest in Rangers.

Old Firm clash: David Healy (right) believes Rangers can beat Celtic

Old Firm clash: David Healy (right) believes Rangers can beat Celtic

Meanwhile, David Healy believes the Light Blues must take confidence from their last home meeting with the Hoops – an emphatic 4-2 victory at Ibrox in September.

The striker said: 'It's going to be a tough challenge and it's always a big game, the Old Firm.

'I know everybody here is looking forward to it and Celtic will be looking to bounce back after their disappointment in the [Scottish Communities League] Cup final.

'We lost at Dundee United and Celtic lost in the cup final so we'll both want to bounce back – and there's everything that goes with the Old Firm in terms of the passion and Celtic might have the chance to win the league.

'But we beat them earlier in the season, which was an incredible game and performance.

'The atmosphere that day was electric so I know there is going to be a huge, passionate support for both sides on Sunday and everybody is going to be looking forward to it.

'The gaffer, from now up until the end of this week, will be getting us all prepared in terms of what way we are going to play, who is possibly going to play and the dangers we will face against Celtic.

'They have got a good squad and good players, players that can hurt you.

'But come Sunday hopefully we will have done enough during the week to know how we can go out and get the right result.'

The club revealed the total raised by supporters contributing to the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund broke through the 150,000 barrier this afternoon.

And Healy believes fans deserve a victory
against their biggest rivals this weekend after rallying around the
club during a difficult period.

He said: 'It's not been an easy time, especially for the supporters, because results have gone against us for whatever reason.

For the fans: Healy hopes they can win for the supporters who dug deep

For the fans: Healy hopes they can win for the supporters who dug deep

'It's been three or four weeks since everything has settled down a bit and it's time for the players on the pitch to go out and give the supporters, who have backed us 100%, something to cheer about.

'But it's not been easy, going to Dundee United with a makeshift back-four is tough because they are a good side which they proved in the cup against us.

'No disrespect to the lads who played at the back because they probably played well but Jig (Lee McCulloch) filled in at centre-half and he's also played in midfield and as a striker this year.

'That's sort of where we are with the squad at this minute and to go to Dundee United at any time during the season is tough.

'To go there with four of five young boys starting was always going to be a difficult task.

'But the gaffer said he can take a lot of positives from the game and I'm sure he'll watch the video again and hopefully he can pick the right team for the biggest game of the season so far.'