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Why Chelsea should sue Burnley, FA and the London Police

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Last night’s Carling Cup matches proved a number of things:

  • Rafael Benitez will give up anything, even momentum earned through wins in the league, to keep his match-winners rested. He has more faith in a few players than he does in the rest of his squad.
  • Harry Redknapp is for real. I doubted him, but 2 wins out of 2 against Liverpool at White Hart Lane show that what Tottenham players need is a loving father, not a school teacher.
  • Didier Drogba throws like a girl. The photo above is proof. If Rory Delap had thrown the coin, he could have cleared the stadium and landed in Stamford Bridge’s empty parking lot.

The FA and the London police are hypocrites. If fans are going to behave like monkeys, the law of the jungle applies – do unto others as they do to you. For Drogba to flip the fans and throw the coin back was the height of restraint. Undoubtedly it was unprofessional but not uncalled for. Respect is a two-way street, as fans exasperated by poor refereeing decisions are fond of saying.

If Barnsley end up suing Sheffield United for an on-pitch injury, Chelsea should hold Burnley responsible for endangering the safety of their striker. The coin could have hit Drogba in the eye and sidelined him for a few weeks. It could have hit him in the nads and he would have woken up the crowd with his screams. Disturbed customers are never-returning customers, and while it didn’t happen, the threat was certainly there (hey, this argument works for Chelsea fans when they argue about their superiority over Manchester United last season, it should work here to. All I’m after is more consistency and less hypocrisy…).

Chelsea should also sue the FA for failing to enforce better crowd behavior from Football League clubs. The Premier League clubs are expected to police their own, why shouldn’t the Football League do the same? I should point out that in 2002 (blatantly copying from another site here) Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury after throwing a coin back into the crowd. He received a mandatory three-match ban. He was also interviewed by police but no further action was taken. However, Carragher was fined by the club and warned about his future conduct.

Where is the humanity in that? Carragher could have been disfigured for life, and it’s not like he hit someone (did he? the site didn’t say…). If the fan gets away for free because he doesn’t hit the player, how come the player doesn’t get away with it if he misses?

And the London Police – for the love of God, where were you when Ashley Cole was getting married to Cheryl Tweedy? To allow that inhumanity and still have the nerve to prosecute a Chelsea player for defending himself, really…

Perhaps we would all be better served if the focus was more on Burnley’s excellent performance or Chelsea’s embarassing penalty shootouts record. Drogba’s girlish throw and the repercussions merit no discussion, they are merely an excuse for self-righteous hypocrites to poison our minds and distract us from the real story (i.e. because of the economic crisis, Nerieda Gallardo is now accepting cash payments for taking off her clothes).

Edit:Apologies for mixing up Burnley and Barnsley. However I don’t think that should detract from the point(s) of the article.

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Comments (28)

  1. “Edit:Apologies for mixing up Burnley and Barnsley. However I don’t think that should detract from the point(s) of the article.”

    Thank you for the acknoledgement of the mix up. What now detracts from the argument is the unnecessary use of the f word , the c words. Clean it up a bit and it might be worth debating with you.

  2. Dwayne, curious to hear your thoughts (not that you seem to have gotten the sarcasm in the article, but whatever), so I’ve gone ahead and done so.

  3. OK, although my initial interest was caught by the mix up in names as a Barnsley supporter I will give you my thoughts on the coin throwing incident.

    I the Barnsley match with SU on Saturday a plastic water bottle was thrown on to the pitch at Beattie when he scored as he was celebrating the goal at our end. I have said and it is the view of the majority on our forum that the individual concerned should be caught and banned from Oakwell for good. So there is NO excusing the Burnley fan/s responsible and the same applies however where I differ from you is that I think there is also NO excuse for a highly paid professional footballer to react in anyway, not with the finger and certainly not with a coin. Its not like he know who threw it, the crowd is much more condensed and there was a far better chance of that coin injuring an innocent member of the crowd than Drogba himself. But, there are no excuses on either side. Drogba should not be let off the hook because he was provoked, he knows better and the Burnley supporter responsible should also be in trouble.

  4. I do appreciate the tone of the article but there is a distinct difference between a role model on the pitch and a knob head in the crown.

  5. Dwayne,

    Thank you for a well-considered response.

    I essentially agree with you – Drogba did the wrong thing by throwing the coin back. However it’s not like he was carrying a coin with him in preparation for the act. He was wrong, but the root cause still lies with the person who thought it was OK (or funny) to throw a coin at a player.

    The point is, crowd behavior can be appalling at times. That element needs to be removed without having a negative impact on atmosphere / attendances.

    Millions of football fans go watch football games. Very few fans actually grow up to be professional football players. What message Drogba was sending? That if someone throws something at you, you should throw it back? Not the best piece of advice to a budding player, but consider this – throwing things at players is now become more commonplace because fans see other fans engaging in this behavior again and again. The young fan (who is more likely to remain a fan than become a pro baller) is bound to be influenced by a fellow fan when in anger, not by a footballer (unless he’s on the pitch in which case again, Drogba’s actions were in retaliation, not pre-meditated.

    Drogs is wrong, but so is this whole role-model business.

  6. Ahmed,

    I see where you are coming from. We are all human and make mistakes all the time. I am not saying Drogba should be banned for life or anything like that, it was a fairly minor incident. This is not about injuries, there were none but there could have been. The coin Drogba threw “could” have hit the 6 year old daughter who comes along with Daddy who also had nothing to do with the incident in the eye.

    The thing is it should not be encourages and it is right that an example is made of these incidents to let anyone else tempted to do the same not to because potentially it is very dangerous.

  7. Yeah this whole thing sounds weird to me. Coins are probably one of the least dangerous things to throw onto the field compared to things like fire-crackers & stones.

    Look what happened to Dida. I wonder if when that fire-cracker hit him on the head, & he had the strength & consciousness to pick it up & throw it back into the crowd, would the police have been interviewing him while he was recuperating in hospital from his head wound?

    Fans expect so much from footballers. Is it too much to ask for some common decency? Hey if you HAVE to boo them & abuse them nastily, at least lay off the ‘missile’ throwing. Players can cope with verbal assaults but if they have to fear for their lives on the pitch then no amount of money or club loyalty is going to make them play well.

    Sticks & stones & all that…

  8. Yeah… wrong club. And the Football league make clubs responsible, as in the big boys league. Can’t say much good about chelseas fans after being on a train back from oakwell with a lot of them last season though… Perhaps they aren’t being controlled enough?

  9. For the record:

    * Barnsley were the Championship side who knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup last season.

    * Burnley are the Championship side who have knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup this season.

    Hope that clears things up for you. ;)

  10. Hi,
    Where is the proof that Burnley fans threw the coins. If Chelsea have it let’s find the person and ban him for a season or two. There is no room for that kind of behaviour.
    Oh! We do have film of Mr Drogbaa throwing something at the Burnley fans – maybe hit some small kid and blinded him! In that case what about a season ban for Drogbaa.
    What nonsense some people dream up. Let’s find the culprits and single them out and deal with them in a proper manner. Fortunately no-one was hurt and that is the really important consequence of this incident

  11. Im starting to think the FA cup is going down the route of the Carling Cup, i mean at the end of the season would you really care if you won the FA cup but your other main rivals won the CL and EPL? I know the great tradition behind the FA Cup but im starting to think teams and fans wont care about it soon. Me being English i feel i should care about it, but i just dont.

    Mascherano, Alonso and Gerrard im beginning to believe is the best midfield in the world, im looking around at all the other top teams i cant see a trio like them. Gerrard most Liverpool fans would say is in the top 3 players ever to play for Liverpool, Mascherano is becoming captain for the best football team in the world and mr Xabi Alonso has outclassed both of them this season even though they are all having phenominal seasons.

    Everyone who watched last nights game will know about the full backs which is always a problem for Liverpool, hopefully thats the last we see of Degen and Dossena and we sign 2 really quick and positive full backs who can defend too in January, that will only happen if mr hicks and gillet resign. Im sick of following the aventures of Tom, DIC and Parry and want to see this resolved.

    Asked for the Drogba incident, the Burnley fan is at fault but two wrongs dont make a right so Drogba should still recieve his 3 match ban

  12. It wasn’t long ago that coin throwing was considered a thing of the past….now it seems to be happening every week. Aside from the role model on the pitch/knob head in the crowd argument, it’s also true to say that one of the things Drogba is being paid tens of thousands of pounds a week for, is to not do dumb things like throwing coins into the crowd. Give that fan half that amount of cash, and I’ll bet he’ll turn up every game and not throw anything. So who’s the knob head?

    And an injury to the nads is not to be laughed at….!

  13. I think Drogba is a joke. Obviously the fan that threw the coin is a disgrace but for Drogba to swear at the fans and throw the coin back, and pretty hard too, is pathetic and he deserves an extended ban. Were trying to stop stupid supporters from ruining football matches but one of the best players in the Premiership is doing exactly the same. Drogba should know better and he has showed more than once that he is a moron who acts without thought or common sense. Had it of hit someone in the eye or serious cut someone he could face criminal charges.

    My dad and younger brother were at the Chelsea v Burnley match in the away end and they are the opposite of football hooligans. The Burnley fan who through the coin should recieve a lengthy ban from football grounds, as should all fans who through coins at players or officials, and many people agree with that. With that said then why should Drogba only recieve a 3 match ban. From what my dad says it was just the one idiot that made a fool of himself and the crowd was well behaved.

    Drogba and the fan, should they actually find him/her, should be made examples of because d!ckhead fans throwing missiles is pathetic, and football players throwing missiles into the crowd is even worse. People shouldn’t pay money to have coins thrown at them by high paid ‘role model’ football players.

  14. Re, Liverpoolfan: ‘Mascherano is becoming captain for the best football team in the world.’

    Is that the same best football team in the world that are below Paraguay in World Cup qualifying?

  15. Fans throw at him and he throws back? monkey see monkey do attitide?
    what would have happened if it landed on a small child?
    he should be suspended for showing attitude.. as a player he should know what is professionalism in sport.
    if the coin really hit a gal or baby and got injured.. his apology wont be a sure..

  16. SO Valleesh, just to be clear, are you calling Drogba a monkey? Caused a major upset in cricket when an Indian player was accused of calling Andrew Simons of Australia a monkey. Very controversial it was!!

  17. On paper yes they are the best side

  18. Chelsea source talking to the Sun:

    “Around eight missiles were thrown and Didier was hit twice as he ran along the touchline after he scored.

    “He was wrong to throw one back and has apologised. But there’s a growing problem with fans’ behaviour towards players.”

  19. Here’s a thought! We now know? that the count is around 8 missiles [nuclear warheads etc].If coins they cannot possibly be from Burnley fans as we are all out of work and hard up in the North. Drogbah is a fantastic footballer and Chelsea are a superb team the goal Chelsea scored was brilliant, but he spoils himself time after time with the antics that infuriate all fans by feigning injury when tackled and even worse taunting opposition fans when scoring etc.
    Football mirrors society in percentage terms and one can never end violence in soccer until violence is eradicted in mankind. We can however with good surveillance seek out the guilty parties and punish them.
    The original argument seeks to sue the whole world because of 1 2 or 8 guilty people [I am sure this will be increased as the debate unfolds]. By that token when we have a murder in society we the sue the whole of society and introduce night-time curfews,ban people from going out alone etc etc.
    It seems to me that Chelsea have a duty to monitor the crowd for trouble and knowing that away fans are almost always videoed someone should be caught and punished. I believe all clubs should also ban their players who provoke a response from visiting fans without the need for the FA to intervene.
    However we should all reflect on recent event that have been really disturbing such as the failure of social services in Harringay leaving a small child abused and dead. Serious people with every armament on their side police, courts etc still could not protect him. Surely this incident is simple to deal with but whatever is done will not prevent this happening again somewhere

  20. In relation to Rafa resting first team players, Fergie and Wenger did the same thing this week. The difference was they won and LFC lost. But the principle is the same for all three teams, rest the main players and give the squad/youth a run out. If you criticise one manager for it, then you should criticise all three.
    Rafa has been pilloried for not prioritising the league in previous years. I think it’s clear that he is prioritising it this year and being knocked out of the league cup is a small price to pay for that.

  21. “On paper yes they are the best side”

    It’s a shame they play on grass really isn’t it.

  22. Not really because i dont support Argentina

  23. As a Chelsea supporter I am again ashamed of Drogba’s actions. While the Burnley supporter must be held accountable, and the FA and police need to do more to prevent these occurences and punish those whom they catch, Drogba is a professional footballer. While he should not be subjected to these actions, he is held to a higher regard as a paid professional, and his childish antics yet again will cost his club. I am sick of his tiresome act and cannot wait until it leaves Stamford Bridge.

  24. @ Liverpool_fan:

    Lampard, Essien and Mikel, without a doubt. Inject Deco, Ballack, Joe Cole into those spots…sorry pal, but I think we are most potent in the middle of the park.

    To each his own: Mascherano is becoming the most talented pure DM in the world now, but we all know that Gerrard is overrated, and Alonso is a wild card, but capable. I guess we’ll settle the debate again the the UCL semis, ehhh?

  25. Such a big reaction when its a team like chelsea as the “victim” here. quite a different reaction on your website against joey barton and newcastle, when it was sunderland with the crowd trouble the other week (and barton didnt throw anything back at the sunderland fans):

    http://soccerlens.com/ferguson-keeps-talking/14522/

  26. ok Brian, you are intitled to your open and we can both admit our first choice midfield (even Chelsea’s second choice) are full of quality players. I dont agree with Gerrard being overrated he gets a good amount of assists and goals a season and can play so many positions.

    Im half hoping we dont have to settle in the CL semis because our squad isn’t big enough to compete on all fronts so just let Barca knock us out next round :)

  27. opinion* !

  28. I think that Burnley fans did not help the situation but I think that in the last two season the Carling Cup has started to get a bit of traditional now! Look at Arsenal!! They play there best football in the Carling Cup and the average age of the team is 19!!