Mark Clattenburg: Guilty or not there will be casualties

Mark Clattenburg: Guilty or not there will be casualties

Mark Clattenburg racism case
Will Mark Clattenburg be sacked by the FA?

Another week of football passes by, another week Mark Clattenburg is left to satisfy himself by officiating subbuteo matches, or whatever it is referees do to remain sharp and authoritative, during an impromptu suspension.

Three long weeks have now passed since Chelsea made their initial complaint to the FA, in which they allege Clattenburg used inappropriate language of a racial nature towards John Obi Mikel.

In the meantime, while Clattenburg sits idle, parties of all different shapes and sizes have postured their given interest. Louise Taylor of the Guardian painted Clattenburg as a high flyer courting controversy. A man who’s manicured hair is only outdone by his flashy Porsche Boxster.

Alluding to the idea that he could easily be confused with the footballers that he is paid to control. I fail to see the connection between how he looks and behaves off the field with how he performs objectively on it. On a side note, I would question quite how flashy a Porsche Boxster is anyway.

Especially when compared relatively to the taste and spending capacity of a Premier League player. Would a player have the nerve to turn up to training in a Boxter? A Boxster? Really? I think not.

Mark Clattenburg racism case
Will Mark Clattenburg be sacked by the FA?

Elsewhere in the media –never one to miss an opportunity to stoke a rivals fire– Sir Alex Ferguson, bless him, has confessed that he is convinced Clattenburg to be innocent of all charges. No, Sir Alex is not privy to evidence to make such a matter of fact statement.

Instead he is relying on his gut – taking a page from Stephen Colbert – to pass judgement. He simply can not believe it. And, on this particular occasion, with no evidence to support either, I think Fergusons gut might well be right.

Over at Stamford Bridge, gastro-opinions aside, Chelsea maintain they have followed protocol by filing the complaint with the FA. Which I would supose is the bare minimum a club should do for a player if he is to make such a complaint. Chelsea believe that the FA should be the sole party presiding over the case.

Much to the annoyance of the Society of Black Lawyers, who accused Chelsea of having a “cosy agreement with the FA”, by failing to provide the Police with a victim in order for their to be a criminal investigation. Without a victim or evidence, the Met have dropped their inquiry.

Now, if the FA does find Clattenburg guilty –and I would be amazed personally if they did– but if we hypothesize that they did, then the first and obvious casualty would be Clattenburg who would surely have to be fired.

Though I believe he would be a loss to football, and given that I am a staunch supporter of referees in general (yes –even during those times I find myself screaming like a possessed idiot at the TV, as though I have suddenly discovered telepathy), I would still maintain that he would have to seek employment elsewhere. I’m intolerant of racism at the best of times, least of all when it comes from those in a position of power.

On the other hand, should the FA find Clattenburg not guilty, then where will that leave Mikel John Obi? Providing he is telling the truth, then the FA and Chelsea will have both failed him. Miserably. Especially the latter, who by failing to involve the Met in the first place, would have denied the opportunity of independent party.

And in such a scenario, if I were Mikel John Obi, and Chelsea were my employees, I would be putting in a transfer request immediately, if I were telling the truth.

If Mikel John Obi is not telling the truth, and that he had been telling porkies all along, then not only will footballers have dived to yet a new low, by proving they have no limits when it comes furthering their own selfish cause, but more importantly he will have failed other players who have been genuine victims of abuse. Players who might now think twice about making a complaint, for fear of a possible backlash.

Whatever the outcome of this case, whether it be Sir Alex’s gut feeling a wee bit of indigestion or the more serious possible implications for Mikel John Obi, rest assured there will be casualties and long term effects for English football as yet again it struggles to cope with racism.

Find more of my musings at SportBullet or follow me on Twitter @sportbullet.

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  1. Sadly this looks like a case of Chelsea players and management setting out to punish Clattenburg for his contribution to their defeat to Man U and failing to understand the implications.

  2. Its complete rubbish, and i hope chelsea are punished massively. Anyway, when they getting done for the false mata allegation that they so quickly withdrew?….

  3. Of course Clattenburg must be punished for his mismanagement of the game which has massively contributed to a reversal of fortunes for Chelsea since those incidents-officials get away with murder week in and week out and its high time something was done about it. Or are we saying its okay for officials to say or do what they like however wrong?

    • Are you saying that Clattenburg should be punished for making a genuine mistake in sending off Torres (should have already had a red card by the way) or the linesman not spotting an impossible offside against Hernandez? Either way they are not punishable and if mistakes were then Luiz would be punished every game. If he did make a racist comment then of course he should be punished if not what punishment should Chelsea face?

      • Chelsea will face no punishemnt as all they did was report what the players allegedly heard-maybe the players may face some kind of punsihment

        • I would imagine Chelsea will face some type of charge from the FA for allegedly storming into Clattenburg’s dressing room before the end of the 30 minute “cooling off” period after the match.

    • The real issue is that if Chelsea had won there would have been no complaints…this is just the usual moaning and whinging…..

  4. Can someone help me understand how Mikel can be guilty in this case when he never claimed he hear Clattenburg using racial language against him and his team mate never denied they are the one that told him. Please think!!

  5. “I fail to see the connection between how he looks and behaves off the field with how he performs objectively on it”… yeah, because no one ever held off-field activities against John Terry… ever… right?

  6. it will be case of ones word against the other and as the governing bodies always back the officials even when they are wrong clatterburg will probably get off-Chelsea as a club have done nothing wrong but the players if they did wrong must be held accountable or/and/ must the officials for their parts. Mikel was informed of the derogatory remarks by other players so he cannot be held responsible for whatever transpired afterwards

  7. How can Mikel be lying when he didn’t make the accusation. Two other players did. This has been documented over and over and over again, so why do people keep calling for poor old John Obi Mikel’s blood.
    If you want to report or comment on the situation, at least do some rudimentary research.

    • Thanks for the feedback Karen. There is a lot of grey areas in this case presently as neither I nor the press have absolute evidence of what was said and by whom. Nor for the matter do you. However, the point is more about the wider implications for Chelsea, the FA and most importantly the player, when the case comes to a close. If another player made the accusations and not Mikel, my point will still stand. If he is found innocent, either his team mate will have let him down (if Mikel did not make the accusation), or his club will have.

  8. Your opinion might be correct to a point. Do not forget Mikel did not hear him but a teammate Ramires. Like Anton, he did not Terry but was informed. Chelsea would have provided all necessary evidences. The English FA does not to scuttle Clattenburg’s cos he is on of their own. On Ferguson’s comment, he did that cos of negative impact if found guilty would on his team.

  9. Interesting piece with some great observations. I agree Sir Alex shouldn’t have got involved but I think he is slightly mis-quoted – I understand he said it was “unthinkable” that a referee would say something racist and then went on to say he didn’t believe it (rather than saying Ramires had lied – as reportedly Mikel didn’t hear anything – and that he didn’t believe the Chelsea players). There is a difference there. It is a shame this saga has gone on so long – it’ll be 2013 before the charge for storming into the ref’s dressing room will be brought against Chelsea. Which of course makes losers out of the FA for the handling of the whole affair.

  10. it was obvious cheating by the officials he knew if he sent of Torres the game would have been lost for Chelsea and ruined for the millions of viewers-he should have thought before taking such premediated action. Trying to make up to Ferguson for the spats they had before

    • How can you know what happened was premeditated? As a referee that very thought is obscene, and farcical to say the least. Without many action replays, slow motion and hindsight a referee can only give what he sees, and what he beliefs to be correct, and he has less than a second to fully ‘see’ what happens, and i challenge anyone in that situation to see everything 100% of the time, it is impossible.
      If he used racist language then punish him, but we all seem to have forgotten that Mikel has history of ‘hearing’ things from others, remember the fact he signed for united, until he ‘heard’ of Chelsea’s interest? How quickly did he deny all knowledge then? I am reserving all judgement until we know the facts, but a hard working, well respected official, or a player with previous dodgy hearing and memory? All be it a very good player, i know who my moneys on.

    • The entire accusation against Clattenburg has the distinct taste of sour grapes from a team that was, frankly speaking, well beaten on the night whether the Torres sending off was right or wrong. What a shame that Chelsea had to ride the racism ticket as a means of getting at Clattenburg and in the process trivialise what is a serious topic where a lot of hard work needs to be done to stamp out racist behaviour by players and fans (and not as it happens by officials).

      • “Have you got the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that”

        is a response to

        20/11/2012 @ 14:18

  11. Any body accusing Chelsea or Mikel is Sir Alex’s fan. I hope the FA knows the whole world is watching?Anton Ferdinand never heard Terry called him a name but Terry was found guilty by the FA. Mikel did not hear the ref. but was told. So, Sir Alex should stop influencing the verdict with his words. FA, hahaha

  12. The main problem with this is how long it is taking for the FA to get to the bottom of what happened and come to a decision. Over 3 weeks is a joke for something that should have been dealt with on the night before anyone was allowed to leave.

    If the referee is guilty of making racist comments to the player, he should be sacked and not allowed to have anything to do with football- no matter what he drives or how he does his hair.

    If he isn’t then it is Chelsea who should be punished- and very severely. It is Chelsea who brought the formal complaint a considerable time after the game finished. Knowing the seriousness of what they were alleging, it is up to them to make sure that they discussed it fully with the players concerned and thought about all the consequences for all concerned, before making it official. In Mata’s case, they wisely pulled back. In Mikel’s they decided to go for it. The decision was not taken lightly and the consequences are serious.

    If someone wrongly accuses someone in public of being a child molesting pedophile, there are serious consequences if they are wrong- as we have seen very recently. Does anyone think Lord McAlpine was fairly accused? No. So if Chelsea have wrongly tried to wreck Mark Clattenburgs career, they should pay a high price.

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