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Kevin Keegan – The Footballers" Football Column: Luis Suarez needs to sort himself out, fans are desperate to worship the ground he walks on, not…

KEVIN KEEGAN: I don't like players kissing the badge – show you care by the way you play… Suarez needs to sort himself out, fans are desperate to worship the ground he walks on, not falls on

PUBLISHED:

09:45 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

10:06 GMT, 22 January 2013

Kevin Keegan

Never ask Kevin Keegan to ‘show us yer medals’. The latest contributor to MailOnline's Footballers’ Football Column has been a champion in England, Germany and Europe as a player, a multi-promotion success as a manager, and belongs to the select band of men who bossed England. Now a pundit, he has always been game for a laugh, but he gets serious too, so watch out Fabricio Coloccini and Luis Suarez. But watch his video interview first; he was so candid we've had to post it in three parts…

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VIDEO INTERVIEW: Part II…

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With the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals coming up, I’ve been doing a spot of promotion work for the competition. It’s been a good laugh, a spoof Brut ad like I used to do with Henry Cooper.

These are nervous times for fans, with their teams so close to reaching Wembley and this is just a bit of fun.

I even wear a wig but it doesn’t look as good as that hair!

No-one remembers me for my goals but everyone remembers my hair, those Brut adverts, singing, and falling off my bike in Superstars.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Part III…

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Talking of Superstars, I
was working abroad so I missed the 2012 version with the Olympic stars
but people told me about it. Yes, I came off the bike but what everyone
seems to forget is that I actually won the event.

Look now at the velodromes which have
been built. Well we were on racing bikes with ” tyres on a red shale
running track, so no wonder I didn’t stay on. It hurt, too. I had to
spend two days in hospital because I’d lost all the skin down my back.

Looking
back it was great fun. All sports people are competitive, I’m sure it
was the same for the recent one. Brian Jacks was unbelievable but in
many ways it was the beginning of the end when he came in because he was
a more professional Superstar while we were footballers who turned up
and made everyone laugh by tipping over our canoes.

Scroll down for more video…

Pair of brutes: Kevin Keegan (right) larks about with British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper to promote men's aftershave Brut in 1980

Pair of brutes: Kevin Keegan (right) larks about with British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper to promote men's aftershave Brut in 1980

Iconic crash: Keegan falls in spectacular fashion on Superstars after clipping the rear wheel of Gilbert Van Binst bike

Iconic crash: Keegan falls in spectacular fashion on Superstars after clipping the rear wheel of Gilbert van Binst's bike

VIDEO: Keegan's Superstars fall. Ouch…

I spend a lot of time working abroad now. My work with ESPN will come to an end this year when they lose the rights but it’s been a fantastic four years and I’ve really enjoyed it. The Premier League is massive all over the world.

Last week I was in Norway covering the games and before that I was working in Malaysia. Everyone follows the Premier League and in Malaysia they have to get up at one or two in the morning to do it – it was quite strange walking out of a TV studio at six in the morning. It was very different as far as my body clock was concerned.

Kevin Keegan (pictured) launched an astonishing attack last night on Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson for suggesting rivals might make it easy for Newcastle to win the title.

Kevin Keegan Newcastle manager

I'll just love it: Keegan loses the plot as Newcastle manager in 1996

Wantaway Newcastle United's captain Fabricio Coloccini in action during the 2-1 loss to Reading on Saturday

Wantaway Newcastle United's captain Fabricio Coloccini in action during the 2-1 loss to Reading on Saturday

VIDEO: Keegan's famous – and brilliant outburst in 1996…

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15/01/13

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08/01/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

People ask me whether I am now finished with management. You can never say never. I have been offered four or five jobs since I left Newcastle in such terrible circumstances but none was right for me.

The only way I would come back is if I could see myself as part of the vision, which is far more important than financial reasons.

Newcastle was a pull to me. I’d played there and my father came from there.

It’s got to be something more than money. But I’ve listened to the job offers and thought that the dreams I was being sold could not match reality..

Talking of Newcastle, I have read reports that Fabricio Coloccini wants to leave although I don’t know the reasons.

If it’s a health issue, either to himself or a member of his family, then that would put a different light on it because football is not more important than life.

But if it is for another reason, then what message does that send out to the other players if he is allowed to go

I bought Coloccini, along with Jonas Gutierrez, in 2008 and he only signed a four-year contract last season. He’s a key player, the captain, and his departure would be a blow.

There is a danger that other good players in the team, like Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Cheick Tiote could start to think ‘Why should we stay then’

Another player from one of my former clubs has been in the news. Luis Suarez wears my old No 7 shirt at Liverpool and the fans are desperate to worship the ground he walks on, not falls on.

He’s a very good player and has been excellent this season but he gets involved in far too many controversial incidents.

When you are a manager of an English
club and your foreign players go home you just wait for something to
come out.

Players relax and think that, as they are in Argentina or
Spain or wherever, that their words are not coming back because they
weren’t speaking English.

So
Suarez admits he dived against Stoke. I remember the game and I don’t
think there was anyone in the world who thought he did anything but
dive. But what he does is put the club into a difficult position.

Brendan
Rodgers has no choice but to discipline one of his players and it’s all
about Suarez for non-footballing reasons. He needs to sort that side
out as he is an exceptional player.

Kapow! Keegan, Liverpool's iconic No 7, clashes with legendary Leeds captain Billy Bremner during the 1974 Charity Shield at Wembley

Kapow! Keegan, Liverpool's iconic No 7, clashes with legendary Leeds captain Billy Bremner during the 1974 Charity Shield at Wembley

Come in No 7: Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez celebrates scoring in Saturday's 5-0 rout of Norwich

Come in No 7: Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez celebrates scoring in Saturday's 5-0 rout of Norwich

CAPITAL ONE CUP

To join the debate around the semi-finals of the Capital One
Cup, visit: facebook.com/CapitalOneUK

I wasn’t able to go to the FA’s 150th anniversary celebration although 150 is something to celebrate.

One of the things that I hope is addressed in the future is the number of football people at the FA. There are many more administrators and that’s wrong. Sir Trevor Brooking does us proud but there should be more like him, more of a mix.

A professional footballer can always become an administrator but it doesn’t work the other way round.

Old pals: Keegan sports a basque beret as he jokes with Sir Trevor Brooking while on England duty at the 1982 World Cup in Bilbao

Old pals: Keegan sports a basque beret as he jokes with Sir Trevor Brooking while on England duty at the 1982 World Cup in Bilbao

Greg Rutherford in underpants for charity life art class

That's pants! Rutherford strips off down to Union Jack underwear for charity fundraiser

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UPDATED:

18:23 GMT, 11 December 2012

Olympic gold medal hero Greg Rutherford has stripped off to nothing but a pair of Union Jack underpants.

Lying seductively on a cream sofa, the Team GB gold medallist posed for a charity life art class. And although Greg may appear comfortable in front of the camera, he revealed that he was, in fact, incredibly nervous.

He revealed to The Sun: 'It was up until the moment I was sitting here and waiting to come out – that's when I got incredibly nervous. Even this morning I was really blase about it, I was like “oh this will be fine” I've had to do much bigger things in my life and then all of a sudden I was absolutely bricking it.'

Sofa so good: Ruhterford looks at ease, peeled off down to his underpants

Sofa so good: Ruhterford looks at ease, peeled off down to his underpants

The track and field star was taking part in an initiative to promote the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, which gave a select group of fans the opportunity to draw the Olympian in all his glory.

Rutherford was inspired to take part in the class as he has a friend who is bravely battling cancer at the moment.

He explained: 'I've got a mate who's
been suffering with testicular cancer and he's in remission now so he’s
come out the back end of it, he's recovered.

Picture this: Rutherford poses for the artists

Picture this: Rutherford poses for the artists

'He was a massive inspiration to me
because when you see somebody who's ill like that but still training and
still working hard, it's brilliant to look at them and think you're
dealing with something so severe like this.

'I mean anybody can contract any form of cancer. This is 99 per cent curable – but people still die of it. So it was amazing to see and for that reason I was very keen to get involved. It's just a great idea to raise some money and hopefully make men more aware as well.'

The Olympian also implored his fellow men to regularly check themselves for symptoms, and to act quickly if they fear that is something is wrong.

'I think all guys need to have a bit of a fiddle and feel for any irregular lumps or bumps or anything. Or if there is any unfamiliar feeling in the area – like dull aches in their stomach or scrotum – just nip in to the doctor, it's their job, go and let them have a feel and a check of you. It's their job – they don’t care what it looks like. At least then if you’re OK you know.

'If you leave it too long people do die of it – so forget about the embarrassment of getting bits and bobs out for a doctor. I did it in front of 40 people here so you just have to do it. If it’s going to save your life who cares.'

The event was organised by discount and deals website Groupon, which offered customers the opportunity to bid for the opportunity to be involved with the class, and the 15 lucky winners enjoyed a no-expense spared champagne reception.

The budding artists were guided by Tony Picano of Life Drawing UK and then had the opportunity to have their pictures taken with Rutherford and have their artwork signed by the athlete.

Leap of faith: Rutherford landed gold at the Olympic Stadium this summer

Leap of faith: Rutherford landed gold at the Olympic Stadium this summer

Chelsea admit regrets over Mark Clattenburg race row

We got it wrong over Clattenburg, admit Chelsea… but still no apology for starting ref race storm

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 27 November 2012

Chelsea have at last admitted they ‘regret’ being so quick to accuse Mark Clattenburg of racially abusing two of their players — but they have STILL not apologised for making the accusation public.

The club held secret peace talks with Clattenburg and his 15 elite referee colleagues on Monday.

Bruce Buck, the Stamford Bridge chairman, travelled to the National Football Centre at St George’s Park on the request of all Premier League match officials.

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Allegations: Chelsea claimed Clattenburg had referred to John Obi Mikel as a 'monkey'

Allegations: Chelsea claimed Clattenburg had referred to John Obi Mikel as a 'monkey'

They met in a bid to repair the damage
caused by the false accusations of racism that were levelled against
Clattenburg. At some point during the meeting Buck shook hands with the referee.

Part of the discussion even focused on the possibility of Clattenburg taking charge of a Chelsea game in the future.

Referee's union Prospect welcomed the joint statement by PGMOL, the Premier League, and Chelsea.

National secretary Alan Leighton said the use of the word 'regrets' in the joint statement were tantamount to and accepted by Clattenburg and the Select Group as an apology.

'This was an important move forward in confirming Chelsea's recognition of Mark's integrity and impartiality,' he said in a statement.

Leighton said the referees 'welcomed the opportunity to express their concerns about the way that Mark had been treated'.

He added: 'In a thoroughly professional manner, they explained what the impact had been in real terms and that there could be no repetition of the events.'

The joint statement read: ‘A meeting took place on Monday afternoon at St George’s Park between Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League and Chelsea Football Club.

‘PGMOL were represented by General Manager Mike Riley and all 16 Select Group referees, the Premier League by Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Chelsea FC by Chairman Bruce Buck.

Trip: Bruce Buck (left) went to St Georges to speak to Clattenburg and the other referees, as well as Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

Trip: Bruce Buck (left) went to St Georges to speak to Clattenburg and the other referees, as well as Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

This is a joint statement from all parties.

‘Following the completion of the
investigation by The FA into the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark
Clattenburg, the Premier League and Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL
agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues surrounding the reporting
of the allegation.

‘There
was a constructive and open discussion. The club regrets not having
given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of
Sunday 28th October.

The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.

‘The referees accept that, given Chelsea
FC had received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club
had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation.

‘There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount.

Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.

‘It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials.’

The Football Association last week decided to take no disciplinary action against Clattenburg following an investigation into Chelsea's allegation he used 'inappropriate language' against midfielder John Obi Mikel, while the police also shelved a probe into the matter.

Lee Mason will be in the spotlight at Stamford Bridge – Graham Poll

Mason will be in the spotlight at Stamford Bridge

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 October 2012

Lee Mason enjoyed his 41st birthday on Monday but his thoughts will have been dominated by his appointment to referee Wednesday's Capital One Cup game between Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Bolton-based referee, a former debt collector, is a competent select group official who tries to go about his duties with as little fuss as possible.

Man in the middle: Lee Mason will take charge of the game between Chelsea and Manchester United

Man in the middle: Lee Mason will take charge of the game between Chelsea and Manchester United

Over last season and this he has refereed six Chelsea games, all won by the Stamford Bridge side, and two Manchester United matches, both of which were victories for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.

At the same stage of the League Cup last season he took charge of Chelsea’s game at Everton and sent off goalkeeper Ross Turnbull for tripping Louis Saha. Everton’s Royston Drenthe was dismissed for a second yellow card as Chelsea won 2-1 in extra time.

In the spotlight: Mason will have the eyes of the football world on him after the controversies surrounding Sunday's game

In the spotlight: Mason will have the eyes of the football world on him after the controversies surrounding Sunday's game

Mason will be assisted by Jake Collin and John Brooks, who will be under pressure to get the offside decisions correct after three clear errors at the weekend. One of those, Mikel Arteta’s goal for Arsenal against QPR, was missed by Brooks, who is in his first year on the select group of assistant referees.

Michael Laudrup wants to get Swansea firing again

Laudrup determined to get Swansea firing against Reading to give Britton happy milestone

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 4 October 2012

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is determined to get back to winning ways against Reading – and give Leon Britton an anniversary to remember.

Britton is in line to make his 400th appearance for the Swans against Reading, having initially joined the club on loan from West Ham in December 2002.

The 30-year-old midfielder made his debut against Exeter and he is part of a select group to have played in all four divisions of English football.

Twist: Swansea's form has taken a dramatic downswing

Twist: Swansea's form has taken a dramatic downswing

Swansea made a bright start to the season but they will tackle Reading at the Liberty Stadium after three consecutive defeats in which they have failed to score a goal.

'It's an important game for us,' Laudrup said. 'We are playing at home, against a direct rival, and we want to win.

'These are the games that we have to get points from. We want to get back to the way we were playing in the first three games because that is very important.

'If we can do that then we can win on Saturday. He (Britton) is an institution at the football club and there are not many players that play for so long at one club, particularly in the modern era, so it is great.

'400 games says a lot. Let's hope we can give him a day to remember by winning the game.'

Swansea started the season with a bang, beating QPR 5-0 and then West Ham 3-0 but since then the goals and the wins have dried up.

Successive defeats to Aston Villa, Everton and Stoke have Laudrup concerned, although he is far from panicked by the situation.

Milestone man: Leon Britton is on thje brink of 400 caps

Milestone man: Leon Britton is on thje brink of 400 caps

'No goals, no points has to be taken seriously but you have to keep a balance. If you talk too much about something then sometimes you go on the pitch over-motivated,' Laudrup said.

'After three defeats obviously there is less confidence but it is still only the seventh game in the league, it does not finish after this weekend.

'This is a long road and it's one game on that road.'

Laudrup is hopeful that Ashley Williams will have recovered from a bout of illness to captain Swansea against Reading, who are chasing their first win of the season.

Leicester 30 Exeter 8: Hat-trick for Thompstone on first start as Tigers get back to winning ways

Leicester 30 Exeter 8: Hat-trick for Thompstone on first start as Tigers get back to winning ways

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 29 September 2012

Winger Adam Thompstone scored a hat-trick on his first start as Leicester bounced back from last week's home defeat to Harlequins with a superb victory over Exeter at Welford Road.

Thompstone, signed from London Irish in the summer, scored one in the first half and two in the second, with England fly-half Toby Flood kicking 15 points in a fine all-round performance. Replacement Ben White scored a last-minute consolation try for Exeter.

Despite suffering from an injury crisis, Leicester were too strong for an Exeter side who showed none of the form which earned them the double over the Tigers last season and the scalp of Saracens last week.

Off the mark: Adam Thompstone scores his first try of the afternoon

Off the mark: Adam Thompstone scores his first try of the afternoon

Leicester's injury problems intensified when three players – hooker George Chuter, full-back Scott Hamilton and prop Boris Stankovich – withdrew on the day of the game, taking the total on the treatment table to 12.

They were also under pressure after last week's home defeat by leaders Harlequins and having gone 166 minutes without scoring a try, their worst barren run since November 2010.

In contrast, Exeter made just two changes, England international Tom Johnson coming into the back row and Kiwi Jason Shoemark into the centre.

Following their success here last term, Exeter were attempting to join a select band of teams – Northampton, Saracens, Harlequins and Wasps – who had managed back-to-back league wins at Welford Road.

And they drew first blood when fly-half Ignacio Mieres banged over a 49-metre penalty after just two minutes.

Leicester, however, hit back in impressive style and dominated the rest of the half with the pack taking control and Flood pulling the strings behind.

Hat-trick hero: Thompstone runs in his third try

Hat-trick hero: Thompstone runs in his third try

It was Flood's inside pass to Vereniki Goneva which gave Leicester the breakthrough, the Fijian winger bursting into the Exeter 22 and Thompstone finishing off the move with a try in the right corner.

Flood kicked the touchline conversion and made in 10-3 six minutes later with a penalty from a similar position.

Mieres missed with a penalty from a metre inside his own half before Johnson, prop Brett Sturgess and centre Sireli Naqelevuki sparked Exeter's best move which only failed to produce a try because of some great scrambling defence by Leicester.

Leicester turned defence into attack after a great scrum on their line and then rejected the chance of another three points by opting for the line out and drive, the move breaking down when Flood failed to find Goneva with a long floated pass.

Flood did, however, end the half on a high note with penalties in the 30th and 40th minutes to stretch Leicester's lead to 16-3.

Exeter started the second half strongly, Naqelevuki bursting into the 22 before ruining his good work with an attempted pass behind his back which went forward.

Holding on: Thomas Waldrom is tackled

Holding on: Thomas Waldrom is tackled

And Leicester made the visitors pay by working their way up field and scoring their second try through Thompstone, his former Irish team-mate Dan Bowden providing the scoring pass with Flood adding the conversion.

The try was made by the pressure Thomas Waldrom put on the Exeter defence and also the fact that he took out Mieres off the ball, an incident the referee missed and the TMO did not appear to take into account.

With their tails up the Tigers piled on the pressure and giant Samoan prop Logovi'i Mulipola had an easy chance to score but lost the ball in the tackle over the line.

Exeter, however, began to find some form and exerted strong pressure on Leicester without rattling the scoreboard. After a couple of good moves down either wing they went for the catch and drive but Leicester stole their line out ball.

And Leicester stretched their lead to 30-3 with 13 minutes left after a turnover in their own half. Flood countered and Matt Smith chipped through for Thompstone to complete his hat-trick. Flood added the conversion.

With the last attack of the game, replacement White scored for Exeter from close range, the TMO awarding the try after long deliberation, but Gareth Steenson missed the conversion.

Phil Dowd fails fitness test

EXCLUSIVE: Whistle blown on 'unfit' Premier League referee Dowd

By
Alan Biggs

PUBLISHED:

22:00 GMT, 22 May 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 22 May 2012

Last game Dowd with Steven Gerrard in the FA Cup final

Last game Dowd with Steven Gerrard in the FA Cup final

Phil Dowd, one of England’s top referees, is facing a sudden fight to save his career after it emerged on Tuesday night that he has failed a fitness test to continue next season.

The news hit the 49-year-old Staffordshire official within three weeks of his proudest achievement of taking charge of the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Dowd, who became a Football League referee in 1997, has just completed his 12th season in the Premier League. He must work to regain the rigorous fitness standards required of elite referees if he is to make a 13th campaign.

Referees are regularly tested on a series of timed runs in order to meet the strict criteria. Dowd’s bosses want him to continue and there is no question of his age being an issue since the relaxation of automatic retirement rules.

He has always had a naturally stocky build but has never previously struggled to hit the fitness mark. The fact that referees have to take the test in May, immediately on the back of a long and strenuous season, may now be called into question.

Instead of having a chance to recharge his batteries ahead of the test, Dowd will go on holiday knowing his future is under threat more than three months ahead of the start of next season.

Race against time: Dowd intervenes as Nani confronts Jamie Carragher in 2011

Race against time: Dowd intervenes as Nani confronts Jamie Carragher in 2011

In the 2011-12 season Dowd presided over 38 games at all levels, including 28 in the Premier League. Only three select group referees took charge of more games.

The Stoke-on-Trent based official enjoyed a trouble-free Cup final despite the initial controversy over whether an Andy Carroll header had crossed the line as Liverpool looked for a late equaliser in their 2-1 defeat by Chelsea. Assistant referee Andrew Garratt was shown to have been correct in refusing to award a goal.

By contrast, Dowd’s other appearance in a domestic final – Manchester United’s 2-1 League Cup triumph over Aston Villa in 2010 – was marred by an early misjudgement.

Refereeing experts agreed with most pundits that United’s Nemanja Vidic should have been sent off after bringing down Gabby Agbonlahor and denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Villa were given a penalty but Vidic escaped punishment.

Gordon Taylor: Black players reluctant to speak out about racism

PFA chief Taylor warns black players are reluctant to speak out about racism

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 15 May 2012

The head of the Professional Footballers' Association has raised concerns that black players are reluctant to complain about racism in the wake of the rows about John Terry and Luis Suarez.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said those standing up against racist abuse risked a 'torrent of abuse', particularly on social media websites.

Taylor cited Manchester United defender Patrice Evra's complaints about Suarez, who served an eight-match ban, and the 'Liverpool reaction' in defending its player against the allegations.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra (right)

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra (right)

Taylor said it had also been difficult to demonstrate that the game was imposing discipline itself when the Football Association had been told to 'hold its horses' on the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand case while police investigate.

Speaking to MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Taylor said he had received abuse for speaking out about racism.

'If there is going to be such a backlash it could set back the process of complaining which is the process by which we can measure whether this is going on,' he said.

'The last thing I want after this season's incidents is for black players to not feel comfortable with the process, that if they do make a complaint that it won't be addressed properly.'

Taylor said police and clubs were having to take allegations of racism more seriously, but added: 'I also feel there is an element of belief among my younger black players that it's still, “Hmm, I can make a complaint but…”.

'There's been a worry that the Terry-Ferdinand incident hasn't been dealt with yet, there's been a worry about what happened with the Liverpool reaction.

Due in court: John Terry (right)

Due in court: John Terry (right)

'I've got a young generation of black
players that are saying, “Gordon, we can't stand for this any more”,
and I'm feeling frustrated that we can't be a bit more effective in that
process.'

Taylor said there was an 'elephant in the room' with Chelsea captain Terry contesting a criminal charge that he racially abused QPR player Ferdinand.

'Once it became a criminal case and the FA is told to hold your horses while we do this – I've not been comfortable with that, because it's been festering over the game, it's affected so many issues,' Taylor said.

'I just wish that football could have got on with that like the cricket people got on with the issue of spot-betting, albeit there was a criminal case against those players.

'I would have felt football's been seen to do its job of administering discipline.

'We've held back but it's been put back now until after the European Championships, so that's made our job more difficult.'

FA chairman David Bernstein said he agreed 'absolutely' with Taylor, although he was careful not to comment directly on specific clubs or players.

He suggested clubs should be more 'introspective' about such matters.

'Clubs do tend to act like a large family, they rally round and support each other, they do tend to draw the wagons around and this sort of “they all hate us” sort of thing,' he told the committee.

'It's something that's prevalent in many if not most clubs. So that is the actual situation.

Speaking out: PFA's Gordon Taylor

Speaking out: PFA's Gordon Taylor

'Should clubs be more introspective Yes I think they should attempt to be, most certainly.

'Having chaired a club, I know it's quite difficult, there is a strong temptation to do everything to get a winning situation, a winning team and that includes supporting your colleagues almost right or wrong.

'So it's a cultural thing but I think it does need looking at.'

Lord Ouseley, chairman of the anti-racism campaign Kick it Out, said football clubs need to take tougher action against players who misbehave.

'The complication is, really, the clubs have very expensive assets in players and they are reluctant to take disciplinary action from the outset,' he said.

'The clubs do not apply proper procedures as in other employment situations, they rely on the Football Association to deal with the discipline and they don't impose as normal employers their right and responsibility to say to those players, “You have breached a code of conduct as an employee of this club”, and that is where the problem is.

'If clubs had a proper employment-employee relationship as in all other employment situations they would take action the moment a player misbehaves in a certain way.'

Lord Ouseley added: 'We've got to have a situation where clubs recognise their responsibility both in terms of protecting their players from abuse but also in taking action against those players when they are in breach of contracts.'

Manchester United accept apology from City after Carlos Tevez "RIP Fergie" gaffe

United accept apology from rivals Man City over Tevez's 'RIP Fergie' sign gaffe

|

UPDATED:

15:17 GMT, 15 May 2012

Manchester United have accepted an apology from Manchester City over a controversial placard held up by Carlos Tevez during their title celebrations.

City striker Tevez, formerly of United, was filmed on TV with a sign which read 'RIP Fergie' during his club's open-top bus tour of Manchester city centre with the Barclays Premier League trophy.

The banner, thought to have been passed onto the bus by a fan, may have referred to a remark by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson three years ago when asked if his side would ever be underdogs against City.

Sign of the times: Carlos Tevez holds up a banner blasting Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Sign of the times: Carlos Tevez holds up a banner blasting Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

The wheels on the bus: The City stars were driven off on a 1.8mile ride through the city

The wheels on the bus: The City stars were driven off on a 1.8mile ride through the city

'Not in my lifetime,' the Scot said.

City reacted quickly last night to express 'sincerest apologies' while Tevez also spoke of his regret.

United chief executive David Gill told Sky Sports News: 'I think it's right. The club acted pretty quickly.

'I think it was rather silly, frankly, in terms of what it said, but City acted with commendable speed.

'We move on and concentrate on other issues.'

Tevez, who joined City from United in 2009, said he 'got carried away in the excitement of the moment'.

Turning Manchester Blue: City players were greeted with rapturous applause in Albert Square

Turning Manchester Blue: City players were greeted with rapturous applause in Albert Square

Up for the cup: Vincent Kompany led the celebrations on the stage in the city centre

Up for the cup: Vincent Kompany led the celebrations on the stage in the city centre

The Football Association are looking
into the matter after chairman David Bernstein also described the
Argentinian's actions as 'silly'.

Bernstein was asked about the incident by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

Bernstein said: 'It looked to me
rather silly, more than anything else – an impetuous, silly thing to do.
It certainly wasn't very sensible.

'I think it was a very excitable moment, emotions were running very high.

'As I understand it, and I stand to
be corrected, I think someone passed this thing to Tevez who just sort
of put it in the air, so I don't think it's the most serious thing I've
ever come across.

'But I don't know all the facts and I would leave it to the people (at the FA) who will look at it professionally.'

Tevez returned to play a key role in
City's title run-in after an extraordinary dispute which saw him spend
more than three months in Argentina without permission.

The 28-year-old failed in attempts to
engineer a transfer in January but has recently said he wants to stay at
the Etihad Stadium.

Graham Taylor: Black players reluctant to speak out about racism

PFA chief Taylor warns black players are reluctant to speak out about racism

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 15 May 2012

The head of the Professional Footballers' Association has raised concerns that black players are reluctant to complain about racism in the wake of the rows about John Terry and Luis Suarez.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said those standing up against racist abuse risked a 'torrent of abuse', particularly on social media websites.

Taylor cited Manchester United defender Patrice Evra's complaints about Suarez, who served an eight-match ban, and the 'Liverpool reaction' in defending its player against the allegations.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra (right)

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra (right)

Taylor said it had also been difficult to demonstrate that the game was imposing discipline itself when the Football Association had been told to 'hold its horses' on the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand case while police investigate.

Speaking to MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Taylor said he had received abuse for speaking out about racism.

'If there is going to be such a backlash it could set back the process of complaining which is the process by which we can measure whether this is going on,' he said.

'The last thing I want after this season's incidents is for black players to not feel comfortable with the process, that if they do make a complaint that it won't be addressed properly.'

Taylor said police and clubs were having to take allegations of racism more seriously, but added: 'I also feel there is an element of belief among my younger black players that it's still, “Hmm, I can make a complaint but…”.

'There's been a worry that the Terry-Ferdinand incident hasn't been dealt with yet, there's been a worry about what happened with the Liverpool reaction.

Due in court: John Terry (right)

Due in court: John Terry (right)

'I've got a young generation of black
players that are saying, “Gordon, we can't stand for this any more”,
and I'm feeling frustrated that we can't be a bit more effective in that
process.'

Taylor said there was an 'elephant in the room' with Chelsea captain Terry contesting a criminal charge that he racially abused QPR player Ferdinand.

'Once it became a criminal case and the FA is told to hold your horses while we do this – I've not been comfortable with that, because it's been festering over the game, it's affected so many issues,' Taylor said.

'I just wish that football could have got on with that like the cricket people got on with the issue of spot-betting, albeit there was a criminal case against those players.

'I would have felt football's been seen to do its job of administering discipline.

'We've held back but it's been put back now until after the European Championships, so that's made our job more difficult.'

FA chairman David Bernstein said he agreed 'absolutely' with Taylor, although he was careful not to comment directly on specific clubs or players.

He suggested clubs should be more 'introspective' about such matters.

'Clubs do tend to act like a large family, they rally round and support each other, they do tend to draw the wagons around and this sort of “they all hate us” sort of thing,' he told the committee.

'It's something that's prevalent in many if not most clubs. So that is the actual situation.

Speaking out: PFA's Gordon Taylor

Speaking out: PFA's Gordon Taylor

'Should clubs be more introspective Yes I think they should attempt to be, most certainly.

'Having chaired a club, I know it's quite difficult, there is a strong temptation to do everything to get a winning situation, a winning team and that includes supporting your colleagues almost right or wrong.

'So it's a cultural thing but I think it does need looking at.'

Lord Ouseley, chairman of the anti-racism campaign Kick it Out, said football clubs need to take tougher action against players who misbehave.

'The complication is, really, the clubs have very expensive assets in players and they are reluctant to take disciplinary action from the outset,' he said.

'The clubs do not apply proper procedures as in other employment situations, they rely on the Football Association to deal with the discipline and they don't impose as normal employers their right and responsibility to say to those players, “You have breached a code of conduct as an employee of this club”, and that is where the problem is.

'If clubs had a proper employment-employee relationship as in all other employment situations they would take action the moment a player misbehaves in a certain way.'

Lord Ouseley added: 'We've got to have a situation where clubs recognise their responsibility both in terms of protecting their players from abuse but also in taking action against those players when they are in breach of contracts.'