Tag Archives: disputes

Mark Clattenburg racial abuse of John Obi Mikel: Chelsea claims DROPPED by police

Police DROP probe into Chelsea's racist abuse claims against ref Clattenburg in spat over Mikel due to lack of evidence



20:00 GMT, 13 November 2012

The Metropolitan Police have dropped their investigation into the alleged racist abuse of John Obi Mikel by referee Mark Clattenburg.

The Durham official has not taken charge of a match since Chelsea accused him of directing racist language towards Mikel at Stamford Bridge on October 28.

The Met had launched an investigation following a complaint lodged by the Society for Black Lawyers, based on reports of the incident rather than any evidence.

Flashpoint: Mikel and Ramires made allegations about referee Clattenburg

Flashpoint: John Obi Mikel (right) and Ramires made allegations about referee Mark Clattenburg (centre)

Flashpoint: Mikel and Ramires made allegations about referee Clattenburg


Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay

Chelsea’s chief executive Ron Gourlay (right) has described the race rows that have blighted the club over the last 12 months as ‘bullet prints in our armour’ and charged the younger players at Stamford Bridge to repair Chelsea’s damaged image.

The Champions League winners have struggled to win friends during public disputes fueled by racism allegations, while talismanic captain John Terry and big-spending owner Roman Abramovich have long been polarizing personalities in English football.

‘There are things that have happened that damaged the image,’ Gourlay said, acknowledging that Chelsea has been under fire since Terry’s court case and, more recently, reporting referee Mark Clattenburg for alleged racist abuse. ‘There are bullet prints in our armor. We have learned from the mistakes we have made. Hopefully the football club is in a good position to push forward now.’

He believes the widely admired talent of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar is shifting people’s perception.

‘That’s where we want to be,’ Gourlay added. ‘I think people like the way they are seeing Chelsea play football now, and that’s very important because it portrays itself as the image of the club.

‘We are in a very, very strong place,’ the chief executive said on the sidelines of the Chelsea-backed International Football Arena conference in Zurich.

Chelsea last week submitted a dossier
of evidence to the FA, including signed witness statements from players,
alleging Clattenburg used a term understood to have been interpreted as
racist during the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United.

Clattenburg denies the accusation.

Met Police statement read: 'An investigation was launched into alleged
comments made during a football match between Chelsea FC and Manchester
United FC at Stamford Bridge on 28 October 2012.

'This follows on from a complaint received by the Metropolitan Police Service on 29 October.

'Enquires were made and no victims have come forward.

'The matter will remain as a recorded incident.

'Without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated.

the situation changes and a victim and/or evidence to support an
allegation of a crime comes to police attention then further enquiries
will if appropriate be made.

The 37-year-old referee returned to training with the top-flight Select Group of referees last weekend for the first time since Chelsea's complaint.

Chelsea have alleged that Clattenburg used a term understood to have been interpreted as racist towards midfielder during the Premier League match.

He is accused by Chelsea of calling Mikel a ‘monkey’, which the official strenuously denies.

Chelsea midfielder Ramires claims he heard the alleged ‘monkey’ abuse, which led to the club’s claims two hours after their defeat by United.

In the spotilight: Mark Clattenburg, leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotlight: Clattenburg, pictured leaving his home near Newcastle, has not taken charge of a match since the incident

Clattenburg and referees chief Mike
Riley decided jointly that he should not be in charge of matches while
the case has been going on.

The FA is yet to make a decision on the matter after conducting its own investigation.

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slump to defeat at Stamford Bridge

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slumped to defeat against Manchester United

Marching orders: Referee Mark Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players on Sunday

Marching orders: Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players in the match, which included a highly controversial decision to show Fernando Torres a second yellow card for diving

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) while Clattenburg struggled to contain both sides

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) as Clattenburg struggled to the control the game

Clattenburg timeline: How football has reacted to the claims of racist abuse

Oct 28: Mark Clattenburg sends off Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, the latter for a disputed dive, as Chelsea go down 3-2 against Manchester United.

Chelsea later confirm they had lodged a formal complaint with the Premier League match delegate regarding 'inappropriate language' made by Clattenburg to two of their players. The complaint is understood to relate to alleged racial comments in incidents involving John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.

Oct 29: Clattenburg is offered the full support of Prospect, the referees' union.

The Football Association starts an investigation relating to Chelsea's allegations. PFA chief Gordon

Taylor urges the FA to deal with the matter quickly.

The Professional Game Match Officials confirms Clattenburg will not be involved in the next round of matches, stating 'the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself'.

The Society of Black Lawyers sends a letter to the Metropolitan Police calling for a legal investigation. The Met confirm they have received a complaint and will 'consider any allegation that is made'.

Oct 30: The Metropolitan Police launch an investigation into the incidents at Stamford Bridge.

Oct 31: Chelsea lodge a formal complaint with the Football Association regarding 'inappropriate language' directed at Mikel by Clattenburg during Sunday's match.

Nov 2: Sir Alex Ferguson enters the debate, saying: 'I refuse to believe' Clattenburg would make racially abusive comments.

Nov 5: The referees group PGMOL says Clattenburg will not referee at the weekend, but that they had been willing to appoint him to a match if he had wanted.

Nov 8: The Football Association carried out a series of interviews with match officials as they continued their investigations.

Nov 12: Clattenburg was absent from the PGMOL list for a third successive week, although he did return to training.

Nov 13: The police investigation into alleged comments made by Clattenburg was dropped due to a lack of evidence, Scotland Yard said.

Anton and Rio Ferdinand call truce with John Terry and Ashley Cole

Shake on it! Ferdinands call truce with Cole and Terry, saying: 'It's time for us all to move on'



21:38 GMT, 24 October 2012

Rio and Anton Ferdinand have called a truce in their fight over racism — and they will even shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole.

In a statement, the Ferdinand family expressed their disappointment with the actions of the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association during the last year.

Brothers in arms: Anton (left) and Rio Ferdinand have called for a truce

Brothers in arms: Anton (left) and Rio Ferdinand have called for a truce

But hours after PFA chief executive
Gordon Taylor responded to the threat of a breakaway black players’
union by announcing a new six-point action plan to combat racial
discrimination in the game, the Ferdinands agreed to call a halt to the
internal fighting and open discussions with the relevant bodies.

That, Sportsmail understands,
includes drawing a line under their public disputes with Terry and Cole
against the backdrop of the Terry racism controversy.

Snub: Anton Ferdinand declines to shake John Terry's hand last month

Snub: Anton Ferdinand declines to shake John Terry's hand last month

Only last month Anton Ferdinand
refused to acknowledge both Terry and Cole at Loftus Road and his older
brother was considering snubbing Cole when Manchester United meet
Chelsea on Sunday.

However, Rio will now shake the hands of Cole and Terry at Stamford Bridge in the Barclays Premier League match on Sunday.

Breakaway: Rio had considered creating a black players' union

Breakaway: Rio had considered creating a black players' union

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck issued a
public apology to the Ferdinands once Terry had decided not to appeal
against his FA ban and fine for abusing Anton Ferdinand, and Taylor’s
actions convinced them it was time to move on for ‘the betterment of the

In a statement, the Ferdinands said:
‘It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road (between Terry and
Anton Ferdinand). In that time, some of the deep divisions that exist
in football have been exposed.

Snub: Anton was among several players who did not wear anti-racism t-shirts

Snub: Anton was among several players who did not wear anti-racism t-shirts

'During the coming months there will be
ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to
participate in these discussions with other current and
ex-professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards.’

Last weekend, both Ferdinands joined a
number of black players in refusing to wear T-shirts supporting the
FA-sponsored Kick It Out campaign.

Snub: Rio Ferdinand declined to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt at Old Trafford

Snub: Rio Ferdinand declined to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt at Old Trafford

The statement said: ‘On the issue of
Kick It Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work
they have done in the past regarding education and awareness. However,
times change and organisations need to change with them.

‘Although we have been left
disappointed by the PFA and the FA’s actions over the last year, as a
family we are committed to working with football’s existing
organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve
immediate action.’

Happier times (from left): Rio Ferdinand, Cole and Terry on England duty

Happier times (from left): Rio Ferdinand, Cole and Terry on England duty

Taylor welcomed the statement. ‘We’ll
be very happy to involve them in the process of talks,’ he said.

sources said a federation of black players remains a

Chris Foy: Where there"s a Bill there"s a way to sort out TV row

Where there's a Bill there's a way to sort out TV row



22:16 GMT, 20 September 2012

Bill Beaumont has an encouraging track
record when it comes to settling cross-border disputes arising from TV
rights deals, and the RFU chairman is ready to put himself forward as a
mediator in the current European conflict.

Following a meeting of European Rugby
Cup stakeholders in Dublin on Tuesday, the rival factions involved in a
power struggle over the continental club game are still a long way from
finding common ground.

Track record: Bill Beaumont

Track record: Bill Beaumont

With Premiership Rugby wielding a deal with BT Vision on behalf of the English clubs and ERC armed with a competing Sky contract, delegates will reconvene in Rome next month, to resume talks.

Beaumont stepped into a similar row involving England and their European counterparts in 1999 and famously managed to resolve the issue over a beer or two with the-then Six Nations chairman, Allan Hosie, at the Drum and Monkey pub in Glasgow.

He is keen to have a similarly positive impact this time, albeit perhaps in more formal settings. 'As chairman of the RFU, I would like to think with the contacts that I have got and the relationships I have built up amongst our neighbours, I will try and use my best endeavours,' said the former Grand Slam-winning England captain.

'That is what the RFU wants. We are keen to resolve this situation. We don't want to be at loggerheads with our neighbours all the time or the clubs.

'We are due to meet with the club owners next Wednesday. It will be interesting to chat to them.

'There is a long way to go. I have seen these things come and go in the past, and I sincerely hope that over the next few months, people sit down and discuss it around a room, rather than in the media.

'We have got to try to reach an amicable settlement which suits all parties. I would like to think that can happen. I am not just saying that glibly.

'Looking at it with my RFU hat on, the more potential international players we have playing at the top level in Europe is better for everybody. I am sure there will be a fair bit more re-positioning over the next month or two.

'I would like to think the six countries would still be involved in the European Cup.

'It is now a premier competition. To win the Heineken Cup as Leicester and Wasps have done means a hell of a lot for English rugby.'

Barkley banks dream move

Bath star Olly Barkley

Former England fly-half-cum centre Olly Barkley (right) will leave Bath next month to join wealthy French club Racing Metro.

The Parisians made their move for the 30-year-old after injuries to their leading No 10s ahead of a Heineken Cup pool campaign against Saracens, Munster and Edinburgh.

Barkley has made more than 200 appearances for Bath and spent all but one season of his career at The Rec – returning in haste after an ill-fated move to Gloucester.

The chance to try his hand in the lucrative Top 14 league came out of the blue and proved too tempting to resist.

'I will be forever a Bath boy but this, for me, was simply the opportunity of a lifetime and one I just couldn't ignore,' he said.

Gary Gold, Bath's head coach, added: 'Barks is a great bloke and a top player. Every now and then an offer lands on the table that a bloke just can't refuse.

'We are sorry to see him go, but he goes with our blessing.'

Bath have signed hooker Brett Sharman – who left Northampton soon after an investigation into a controversial tweet about Mo Farah – as cover for the injured Rob Webber.

Mills happy with toothless victories

London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills lost two teeth during his side's shock Aviva Premiership win over Exeter last Sunday.

That's what comes of an accidental collision with the hard head of team-mate Alfie To'oala.

Low point: London Welsh take on Exeter in front of a sea of empty blue seats

Low point: London Welsh take on Exeter in front of a sea of empty blue seats

Unperturbed by the dental discomfort, Mills insists he is ready to keep sacrificing teeth if the Exiles keep getting results, saying: 'I don't mind giving one for every win we get this season.'

Officials at Welsh would no doubt give a few teeth for a bigger home crowd, as just 3,150 people watched their victory at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

This low attendance is part of an alarming trend, with big gaps at grounds around the country this season. Wasps, London Irish and Exeter have also drawn home crowds of less than 6,000 so far and showpiece matches at Twickenham and Wembley have merely served to partially disguise the problem.

With a home World Cup on the horizon, the authorities must hope this is not a sign of declining interest.

Ticket prices may be a factor in some cases, but it costs 18 to watch London Welsh's next home game, against Gloucester – hardly a prohibitive figure.

The last word

There's always some sort of drama over team kits, isn't there No matter what sport it is, the uniform worn by players attracts so much negative comment. Too expensive, too often updated (fair point), too bright, too tight, and so on.

Even Team GB's Olympics outfits were derided as too blue, before the misgivings vanished as those wearing them brought home endless gold.

Now the RFU have unveiled England's new kits and all the fuss is over the change one, described as 'regal purple'.

Essentially, it's what Arsenal wore a few years back, with a few gripper sections so players can lift each other and a Red Rose, of course. This hasn't gone down well, nor has the fact that it will be worn against Australia on November 17, when England are at home and there's no colour clash.

It is said that the traditionalists will be up in arms.

Really If so, the traditionalists need to get out more. It's not too garish and no other country wears this exact colour, so what's the problem

Save the indignation for when England start behaving like Arsenal; any act of foul play followed by Stuart Lancaster insisting – a la Arsene Wenger – that he didn't see it…

From Gerrard to getting the Kop onside: What is in Rodgers" Anfield in-tray…

From Gerrard to getting the Kop onside: What is in Rodgers' Anfield in-tray…



21:51 GMT, 31 May 2012

Deal with the club's structure

Liverpool's owners FSG clearly have a defined way of organising their businesses and it appears Rodgers is likely to have a director of football (or whatever they decide to call him) working above him. This need not necessarily be a bad thing. On the continent — for example — coaches benefit from having someone around to deal with contracts, salary disputes, etc. However, Rodgers must make sure that he has significant input in transfer policy and, of course, total control of first-team matters.

Meet the new boss: Rodgers has much to consider

Meet the new boss: Rodgers has much to consider

Get Steven Gerrard onside and in the team

The Liverpool skipper remains enormously influential at Anfield and leads by example, both on and off the field. Rodgers will know that a fit and energised Steven Gerrard will make an enormous difference to what — at times — can look like a Liverpool team who are mediocre at best. If the new manager can engage with Gerrard and keep him free from injury from the start of the season, then his first few weeks of competitive football at Anfield will be an awful lot easier.

Engage: Rodgers must get Gerrard onside

Engage: Rodgers must get Gerrard onside

Hit the right notes with the Kop faithful

Hostile: Hodgson never won over the Anfield faithful

Hostile: Hodgson never won over the Anfield faithful

England manager Roy Hodgson never managed to get the Liverpool faithful on his side. As one wag put it at the time: ‘You’ll never walk alone, unless the Kop don’t like you.’ There is much more to football management than being popular, of course, but one of Rodgers’ most significant tasks at this great club will be to put a cap on early expectations and get the Liverpool fan base to buy into what he is trying to do.

Overhaul and encourage patience

Liverpool are a big club who aren’t living up to their status. Until they are back in the Champions League and — further down the line — are playing in a new, bigger stadium, they will struggle to threaten Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs at the top of the league. At Anfield, an overhaul is needed at many levels and this will take time. Rodgers must understand this and — just as importantly — ensure that others do, too.

Make use of Carroll

Much is made of Rodgers’ love of passing football but that doesn’t mean players like Andy Carroll can’t be useful. Even Barcelona have to take corners. With Carroll growing in confidence at the end of last season and now set for a big role with England in Euro 2012, Rodgers must find a way of getting the best from a player who can offer much more than presence in the air. Either that or sell him.

Price tag: Will Andy Carroll live up to his 35m billing

Price tag: Will Andy Carroll live up to his 35m billing

Australian Open 2012: Roger Federer goes on the defensive

I'll do it my way! Isolated Federer forced onto the defensive

Roger Federer is revered by fans at the Australian Open, although he is starting to look an isolated figure in the locker room when it comes to the question of players demanding schedule changes and more money at the Grand Slams.

While both he and Rafael Nadal were keen to play down any differences after their respective straight-set victories, others were making it clear where the two of them stand in the eyes of their peers.

Federer baulks at the idea of strike action — still a remote option — and sees little wrong with the calendar, but as chairman of the ATP Players’ Council he clearly does not have much support.

Back in the winning habit: Roger Federer beat Alexander Kudryavtsev on the opening day of the Australian Open

Back in the winning habit: Roger Federer beat Alexander Kudryavtsev on the opening day of the Australian Open

Former world No 3 Nikolay Davydenko said: ‘For sure Federer doesn’t want to do anything, but Rafa and Djokovic are with the other top 100 players, they have support. Federer is too perfect — Swiss, kind — to want to cause problems. But I don’t know why he isn’t supporting the other players.’

Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam winner, was forced to defend himself after a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Alexander Kudryavtsev.

He said: ‘I completely understand the players’ opinions, I just have a different way of going at it. Usually when I take decisions I think of the lower-ranked players first, I hope they know that.’

Sitting here in silence on my own: Federer says he deals with things in his own way

Sitting here in silence on my own: Federer says he deals with things in his own way

Despite being criticised by Nadal on Sunday for remaining above the fray and looking after himself in political disputes, the great Swiss maintained that things were ‘fine between us. There are no hard feelings’.

Nadal conceded that he should not have gone public with his thoughts and was keen to move on following a 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 win over Andrey Kuznetsov. His biggest concern was a locked knee that forced him to go to hospital for a scan. We are becoming accustomed to him having various woes with his mind or body early in a Grand Slam but he still seems to be around at the business end.

Australian 19-year-old Bernard Tomic cemented himself in home affections with a 4hr 11min win over world No 22 Fernando Verdasco, which saw him come back to win 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

The Wimbledon quarter-finalist, such an easy striker of the ball, answered questions about his stamina and now meets towering American Sam Querrey.