Terry fined but keeps captaincy
John Terry has been handed a club-record fine by Chelsea but will remain captain, chairman Bruce Buck confirmed on Saturday.
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26. John Terry
The former England captain was suspended for four matches and fined £220,000 by the Football Association for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game between QPR and Chelsea 12 months ago.
Terry decided this week not to appeal the decision, leaving Chelsea to decide what action of their own to take.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo refused to say on Friday whether Terry would remain captain but Buck has now confirmed he would and that he would not be given an additional ban, although the club have fined him.
The details of the fine will remain confidential in line with Chelsea club policy but Buck said it was the heaviest "by far" they had ever meted out to a player.
He said on talkSPORT: "John will continue to be captain of the club. We have taken disciplinary action and we think it is firm disciplinary action and appropriate for the circumstances.
"We have kept in mind first of all that a court of criminal law found him not guilty. Of course we also note the FA decision and we certainly respect that decision. We've kept these factors in mind, we've consulted with the owner Mr Abramovich.
"This is not a decision we've taken lightly, it's not a decision we took in a half-hour meeting, we discussed it over a long period of time and we think we've taken appropriate disciplinary action."
Team-mates Gary Cahill and Juan Mata have both welcomed the news Terry will remain as captain.
Speaking after Saturday's 4-2 victory at Chelsea, Cahill told Sky Sports 1: "Fantastic, I didn't really expect any other outcome to be honest. He has been captain for many years."
Mata added: "He is a great team-mate and a really good guy."
Chief executive Ron Gourlay argued Terry's long service to Chelsea should also be taken into account but condemned his behaviour in the Ferdinand incident.
He said: "What you've got to take into consideration as well is that John's played over 550 times for the football club, he's captained the side over 400 times, he's led the club and the team tremendously well during these games.
"We believe this was an error of judgment, it was out of character for John. He did fall below the high standards we expect at the club. The language used on the day, whatever the context, was wrong. We've come down on John very, very heavily.
"We are not sweeping this under the carpet. We have had to deal with this for the last 12 months. John let himself down, he let the club down, the words were inappropriate that he used."
Asked if Chelsea should have sacked Terry to send a clear signal that the club takes a zero tolerance stance on racism, Gourlay said: "We haven't tolerated the language that John Terry used. We've said it was not acceptable and we have taken action.
"We don't believe for one minute that John is a racist and we must not forget that he was cleared in a court of law. We have taken action and we hope it gives out a clear signal that it is not acceptable.
"We know that not everybody is going to agree with this decision but we have tried to focus on improving and on doing better. The club is disappointed, the player is disappointed we are all disappointed and we have got to put things right."
Buck also addressed the punishment meted out to Ashley Cole following his foul-mouthed tweet directed at the FA after his evidence was called into question in their report.
The defender later apologised in person to FA chairman David Bernstein but was charged and fined £90,000.
Buck questioned the sanction, saying on talkSPORT: "The club was surprised by the level of the fine imposed on Ashley Cole.
"I don't want to sound like an apologist for him. But he apologised to David Bernstein and the England manager and we would have viewed that as mitigating circumstances."
Gourlay, meanwhile, defended club secretary David Barnard, whose role was also questioned in the FA report after Cole's initial statement was changed.
The chief executive insisted Barnard had followed FA procedure, and he said: "We feel very strongly here. He was wrongly maligned in the panel's report. He wasn't given the opportunity to answer the questions they had.
"Ferdinand has refused to shake hands with Terry or Cole since the incident and has himself come in for abuse from the stands at Stamford Bridge and other grounds.
Buck apologised to the Ferdinand family for what they have been through, something Terry declined to do in his statement two days ago.
Buck said: "I understand, and as a club we understand, what they have gone through since a year ago and Chelsea Football Club would like to apologise to them. It has been a very difficult year for them and they didn't do anything wrong. And we are sorry."