CHELSEA were denounced last night by equality campaigners for refusing to come clean over their punishment of captain John Terry for his race-row confrontation with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
The European champions said they had taken disciplinary action against Terry, in addition to his four-match ban and £220,000 fine from the Football Association, but would keep the details confidential.
It came hours after Terry announced he would not appeal the FA sanctions and issued an apology “to everyone for the language I used” in the explosive Premier League fixture of October 2011.
But Lord Herman Ousely, chairman of Kick It Out, criticised Chelsea’s secretive policy and warned the club, who have been urged to strip Terry of the captaincy, needed to be transparent about their stance on racism or risk further damage to their image.
“I believe Chelsea need to be open about the action they have taken. A lot of people will be dissatisfied that Chelsea have not been much more up front about the standards they set and the values they have,” he said.
“If they are not prepared to say, it will further damage the trust of those people who still have suspicions about Chelsea’s sincerity in dealing with this matter.
“I do welcome what they have said, but they need to be saying more and doing more if they are going to win back the confidence of people who have lost trust in them rather than to sit back and be silent.”
Chelsea had earlier broken their silence on the long-running matter by welcoming Terry’s decision to apologise for saying “f***ing black c***” and forgoing an appeal against the FA’s independent panel decision.
“The board has taken further disciplinary action in addition to the four-match suspension and £220,000 fine imposed by the FA,” a club statement read. “In accordance with our long-standing policy, that disciplinary action will remain confidential.”
Terry, who lost the England captaincy and then last month quit international football over the row, has consistently denied racially abusing Ferdinand and was acquitted in a criminal trial in July. The FA panel, while accepting Terry was not a racist, ruled that his defence – that he merely repeated the words, thinking he had been accused of using them – “improbable, implausible, contrived”.
Some 361 days after the incident, Terry finally apologised yesterday.
“Although I’m disappointed with the FA judgment, I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life,” he said in a statement.
Terry will miss tomorrow’s trip to Tottenham, and matches with Manchester United and Swansea.
Fellow Blues defender Ashley Cole, meanwhile, was yesterday fined £90,000 by the FA for a tweet referring to them as a “bunch of tw**s”.