Chelsea: still not properly sorry, still a disgrace

Jake on the art of communication

Victimhood has set in at Stamford Bridge. After acting despicably last week, dismissing a manager months into a reign that had yielded unexpected glory and refusing to apologise for the appalling slur on Mark Clattenburg’s reputation, the club is clinging to its bogus high ground.

We now have the nearest we may ever get to an apology for Chelsea’s disreputable conduct towards Clattenburg, exonerated by both police and FA after inquiries into flimsy allegations that he made an inappropriate, even racist remark towards Mikel.

An inadequate joint statement issued by the club, the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) group and the Premier League read:

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.

The Select Group appreciated the opportunity to speak to [Chelsea chairman] Bruce Buck personally. His willingness to engage and answer all the questions put to him was welcomed.

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

Not quite the full, unqualified apology that decency demanded. It got worse. The club, we are told, “also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family”.

The failure to apologise is one disgrace. The attempt to sidestep responsibility for the ensuing and entirely inevitable consequences for the referee, and instead imply guilt on the part of the media, is another. What were newspapers, TV and radio supposed to do once Chelsea chose to issue a public statement containing an sensational and explosive allegation?

Reports say it is “understood” – ie someone has said it but won’t go on the record – Chelsea avoid a direct apology because Ramires, with that wonderful command of English of his, sticks by his claim to have heard the ref tell Mikel: “Shut up you monkey.” That sounds more than a little like going behind the back of a jury verdict and coming up with your own. The club is also said to have been concerned that the word “sorry” would have made a legal claim possible, though this is a route Clattenburg has apparently made clear he has no wish to take.

The referees’ union Prospect has acted with some grace, offering a generous acknowledgement that having “received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation”. It even more generously interprets the Chelsea “regret” as tantamount to an apology.

Earlier today, a Chelsea supporter posted the following piece of irony on Facebook after mention of the vile pro-stabbing, anti-Semitic West Ham chanting in the Spurs game: “I think that Chelsea fans were more than likely responsible for those chants. In fact they are probably responsible for everything bad in the world.”

Her view may have been influenced by my own suggestion that fans, Chelsea or not, tweeting “Rafa Benitez – the most unpopular caretaker since Ian Huntley”, were in danger of dragging us back to a neanderthal dark age of football.

Sorry, but those of us who do not support Chelsea – including some who greatly admired last season’s successes against Barca and Bayern – will feel entitled to watch that club’s behaviour on a host of fronts in the coming months.

Jake finds the right colour
* Kneejerk Chelsea-bashing? Consider



Colin Randall disguised as Monsieur Salut, by Matt

13 thoughts on “Chelsea: still not properly sorry, still a disgrace”

  1. From the Chelsea supporter quoted in the above article:

    Delighted that you couldn’t resist, but My god Colin if you think I have time to read that you must be off your rocker. Let’s just cut to the chase and agree that Chelsea are the reincarnation of the Devil and the anti-christ and get on with our days.

  2. Two cases poles apart.

    Chelsea reacted in anger, aggrieved by an arguably harsh sending off (but why do oafs like Torres insist on launching into such extravagant dives when already slightly fortunate to be on the field?) and an offside winner which was the linesman’s error not Clattenburg’s. The ‘evidence’ has been seen to be at best paper thin. The statement could properly have read: “The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of October 28 and apologises unreservedly to Mr Clattenburg.” No risk involved since the ref had made it clear he had no interest in suing. Just Chelsea emerging with a healthy slice of decency and contrition.

    The man in the SAFC v WBA crowd may be identifiable to a few who recognise him from the grainy image. If he later turns out to have have been struggling with an an uncontrollable itch, and far from making offensive racist gestures had warmly applauded an opponent’s goal, I am sure he will find the libel settlements help him get over it.

    I note you make no defence of the shabby treatment of RDM and I ignore the descent into babyish abuse

  3. You say…”that individual will be identified and punished unless there is some innocent explanation for what seems an appalling gesture”.

    Yet also according to your rant against Chelsea, it shouldn’t have been reported until they were absolutely sure there wasn’t an innocent explanation. If Ramires says he heard an appalling remark, why shouldn’t it have been reported? Because there is no evidence? So you think if someone had reported the racist in your crowd and there was no evidence to back him up over what he saw with his own eyes, he should apologise to the racist????? You are sick minded and make no sense.

  4. Regarding the idiot caught on camera making “monkey” !!!! To me the world’s gone racially mad – ok he’s an idiot nothing more . At the same time there were probably a few folks getting their brains bashed in by muggers , someone driving full of drink or drugs . Rapists , paedophiles and the likes walking the streets – and the police are spending all this time looking for an idiot acting like a monkey !!!!!!!!!!

  5. Sir Cecil, I for one am confused by your post. News Now is an excellent RSS feed that gathers articles on SAFC from around the world. The BBC website us one of the most visited sites on the planet. I visit both of these several times a day and I’ve seen no sign of a global Sunerland=racist story. As a club we are a part of society and I’ve no doubt we have our fair share of I’ll-informed bigots. That said I’ve been attending games home and away for over 40 years and I have to take issue with your assertion. We’re not a racist club, our fans are not racist en masse. To suggest otherwise is to disparage a club who take their role in the community very seriously

  6. ThePups: we comment almost daily on the ‘shambolic football going on at the stadium of …’ And I was quick to defend Chelsea against the ‘anti-football’ charges levelled last season following the Champions League triumph

    Sir Cecil: that individual will be identified and punished unless there is some innocent explanation for what seems an appalling gesture. I suspect many US readers will easily make a distinction between one idiot’s reprehensible conduct and the institutionalised arrogance of Chelsea in the Clattenburg affair

    Liam: dream on. The ‘case’, such as it was, has been thrown out as worthless

    ‘Pete’: that is yah-booism without semblance of a serious point

  7. I don’t blame you for adding yet another tedious article on the “Big Bad Chelsea”.

    If I were a Sunderland fan right now, I’d write about anything that takes my mind off of the Shambolic football going on at the stadium of….

  8. We’ve seen the Sunderland racism for ourselves this week. It’s been shown throughout the world. I live in America and it is in all the papers and TV news. The name of the club everyone here and in other parts of the world is associating with racism in football today is Sunderland. It’s on every sports page for everyone to see. It’s now the image of Sunderland around the globe.

  9. Ramires heard the comment which he knows very well from his days in Portugal.He reported it to the club who then went through the proper channels.The only reason Clattenberg hasn’t been found guilty is that Ramires is the only one to hear him and had no one else to back it up,but he’s convinced he heard it.There is not going to be an apology as everything was done above board and Clattenberg has been very lucky,this time.

    • You know all that for certain Liam. Why weren’t you called to give evidence? Oh maybe because you state that Ramires was the only one to hear it.

  10. The FA could make a start by telling them not to come to Sunderland on December 8th and then give us the 3 points.

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