Mark Clattenburg - Chelsea Involved in a New Race Row
So by now you must have all heard the news, unfortunately Chelsea are right in the middle of another race row. Granted, this is a very s...
So by now you must have all heard the news, unfortunately Chelsea are right in the middle of another race row. Granted, this is a very sensitive and quite frankly unsavory subject, however I do feel it is important to look back at the allegations now that the initial frustrations from the game have died down.
During the home game in the league match against Manchester United, Mark Clattenburg allegedly made racist comments towards Chelsea's defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel. Although this has not been confirmed, Ramires is reportedly the player who heard Clattenburg racially abuse Mikel.
On the 31st of October, the club lodged an official complaint with the FA and released the following statement;
Following Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea FC players by Mr Clattenburg during the game... After initial interviews (statements taken from players and staff including David Luiz and Ramires), it was clear that the matter had to be reported... It was not a decision the club took lightly... There was not sufficient evidence to support a second claim to the FA with regard to the alleged verbal abuse of another first-team player.
Not only are the FA investigating the matter, lawyer Peter Herbert has submitted a written complaint to the Metropolitan Police about the incident, meaning that they will now also be holding an investigation. The official police statement read;
The MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) has not received any complaint from either Chelsea Football Club or the Football Association. We continue to work in partnership with Chelsea and the Football Association in order to consider any allegation that is made in relation to the reported events.
Mark Clattenberg has denied the allegations and none of the assistant referees support Chelsea's claim.
First and foremost, i hope that this issue is dealt with much faster and more efficiently than the Terry-Ferdinand saga, we don't need this to drag on and linger over the club like a bad smell! That is the last thing that Chelsea needs.
It does seem like everyone and their mothers have an opinion on this new race row, it is quite frankly uncharted territory, this has never happened before, so obviously there are going to be some clashing views.
A war of words between Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Di Matteo has since broken lose.
Sir Alex Ferguson has come out and backed Mark Clattenburg, saying he outright doesn't believe Chelsea's claims;
I don’t believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that, I refuse to believe it. I think it’s unthinkable. Simple as that. There is no way a referee would stoop to that, I’m convinced about that. I’ve never heard of a player come to me in the last 15 years and say the referee swore in the game.
Di Matteo has since replied, subtly hinting that Sir Alex should not be worried in how other clubs deal with their business. Our Italian manager seems to be happy with the way the club has gone about reporting the matter (by the book) and backs the decision fully;
Everybody has freedom of speech, we take into consideration what other people say and use it as a motivational tool for ourselves. He [Ferguson] likes to talk about other clubs. We tend not to. I’ll leave it up to him. It doesn’t really affect me too much... The investigation will qualify this (that the club has done things by the book). We don't want to prejudice any trial."
Arsene Wenger has also come out and voiced his disapproval over the way our club have dealt with the situation;
I’m not a great believer in making these stories public. One of the great things in sports is tolerance, forgiveness and explanation internally and I think it should stay like that. It can happen that a referee doesn't behave well. I do not say they are angels, but it is always better to sort it out in the room. My deep feeling is that I have not always completely behaved very well in this situation, because they are very heated situations.
Looking past whether he was right or wrong to speak out like this about another clubs process of dealing with certain affairs, do you think Wenger has a point?
Would it have been better for Chelsea to deal with this internally and go to Clattenberg directly and sort the problem out quickly without involving outside bodies like the FA?
Or were Chelsea 100% right in taking their claim public?
I am sure John Obi will feel that his claim needed to be dealt with via football's governing body. No one wants to be verbally abused in their place of work, and if the claims turn out to be true and Clattenberg is guilty, then he should be punished for it (which wouldn't happen if the situation was dealt informally in the way Wenger suggested)
One thing is for sure, this is not going to end well for anyone, Mark Clattenburg's career is in the balance as well as Chelsea Football Clubs reputation.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind right now is that Clattenburg is innocent until proven guilty.
So Chelsea fans, what do you think about all of this controversy surrounding our club once more?
If you do comment, be sure to keep in mind that this is a very sensitive subject, carefully think through your post. Thanks!
Article by Martin Smith
Follow me on twitter @MartinSmithCFC
Carefree & KTBFFH!