Why ‘Toxic’ John Terry Shouldn’t Be Made To Hand In His England Armband

Chris Wright

2nd, February 2012


By Chris Wright


It can’t have escaped your attention that John Terry is due to stand trial on charges of racial abuse for shouting ‘you know what’ at ‘you know who’ on July 9th, i.e, one convenient week after the Euro 2012 tournament conveniently draws to a close on the first of the month. How convenient.

Anyway, Terry is facing pressure from all sides to hand in his England captaincy at the door and even declare himself unavailable for selection ahead of Polkraine for fear of wading into the tournament with – to use Reading striker, pundit and 5 Live’s go-to black gentleman Jason Roberts’ turn of phrase – a ‘toxic’ atmosphere in the dressing room, a quote used in almost every news report I’ve read today.

Quite why we should be taking Roberts’ word as gospel over anybody else’s is as yet unclear as he isn’t directly involved with the court case in any capacity, nor does he have any experience of the current England dressing room. Or any previous England dressing room for that matter. I think I know why we’re being asked to treat his personal opinion with such veracity, but it’s probably better if I don’t say it out loud. It might be deemed racist.

Several high profile voices have echoed Roberts’ sentiments (Damian Collins MP and Piara Powar, an exec for ‘Football Against Racism in Europe’ to name but two), questioning the morality of allowing Terry to lead England out in Donetsk on June 11th –  though the BBC Sport team have reason to believe that Teflon John will resist the calls for his armband once again, quoting a ‘source close to the player’ as saying: “[Terry] won’t stand down. He is sure of his innocence and thus feels it would be wrong to do so.”

And so, it appears we have reached an impasse.

My verdict? Terry should and almost definitely will remain captain for Euro 2012. He’s a vastly experienced, international calibre centre-half and NOT A LIFE COACH. You want pointers on morality? Ask the Dalai Lama. You want a back-four marshalled to defend a corner against France in the opening game? His Holiness is going to be less than useless. Better get John Terry. The court case and the football are mutually exclusive entities. It’s sometimes easy to forget that.

We know he’s an abhorrent swine, he’s proved that time and time again. I know it, you know it, you can be sure the England pool are aware. The outcome of his latest dalliance with the authorities isn’t going to change that particular universal constant. He’ll be the same abhorrent swine after his trial that he was before. It just so happens that he’s a swine with a useful knack of being able to defend wholeheartedly and command a defensive unit during international football matches – hence his bank balance.

You could quite feasibly argue that Terry shouldn’t be a first-choice centre-half for England given the options available to Fabio Capello and therefore shouldn’t be on the pitch at all – but he will be. That’s almost certain. And there’s no strictly non-football-related reason why he shouldn’t be.

I’d like to make it clear that I’m not condemning or approving anything Terry may or may not have done – just pointing out that, if we’re genuinely adhering to the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ maxim that underlines the nation’s penal system, then there’s no need to impose any counter-productive (be it footballing or otherwise) punishment or sanction on Terry until July 9th.

Until then, he is an innocent man in the eyes of the law, and should be treated as such.

Posted in Chelsea, Euro 2012, Featured, Media, Opinion, QPR

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  1. SL says:

    Yes, hes a cunt, Id rather support the Germans than have to watch him lift a trophy.

    Innocent until guilty shouldnt apply to this case just as it doesnt apply to anyone who works with kids. Even if he gets off with nothing (and he will slime out of it), he will always be a racist to me.

    Ferdinands v Terrys word, only a moron would believe the latter.

  2. Sam says:

    Why am i not surprised that Terry is reaping the benefit of “innocent until proven guilty” stance
    While Suarez was condemned to be a racist from Day 1

    Bunch of clowns the media are :-)

  3. nicko says:

    He is, at present, innocent until proven guilty. However, his alleged actions will of course have a bearing on the mood of the team. Will black players have the same respect/relationship with him as they did prior to this event? I (and certainly Jason Roberts) have no idea, but I would guess at yes.
    However, my basis of not selecting Terry, wouldn’t be on the basis of the allegations against him, but more because he isn’t good enough. I think the term “international calibre centre-half” is somewhat misused here. With the arrival of Cahil,he’s barely good enough to get into Chelsea’s back 4, let alone England’s.

    A bad apple, slow and a distraction to the rest of the team. leave. at. home.

  4. Nick says:

    Zinedine Zidane chipped a penalty off the underside of the bar in a World Cup final, in his last ever game of football. It’s astonishing. He CHIPPED a penalty in arguably the most important game of his career, but do you remember it? Maybe a little bit, something to bring a smile to the face, but ultimately overshadowed by the madness of his red mist, and that headbutt on Marco Materazzi. One moment of genius wiped out in a heartbeat by another moment of insanity.
    Now picture a triumphant John Terry holding aloft a trophy at the top of the steps of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, a resurgent England having beaten all the odds to finally end those years of hurt. And then only a few days later, John Terry stood at the top of the steps outside the courthouse, tearfully admitting to racially abusing a fellow pro, brother of his England defensive partner and wonder whether that wipes out the memory of an incredible England victory.

  5. grommit says:

    They couldn’t wait to rush Suarez to trial and give him an 8 game ban because he admitted to what he said, but argued cultural contexts are different. Not saying Suarez is a good guy, but a bunch of white dudes trying to pass judgement on a Spanish speaking player (who is a minority himself) insulting a French minority player seems more than a little ridiculous. Didn’t matter. Ban.

    But Terry, oh no. Let’s wait until England gets unceremoniously bounced out the Euros before we hold a trial that will be so far after the initial incident that we will have no choice but to declare him innocent.

    Want to see racism in the FA? Look at how Suarez v Terry’s been handled. And I know a number of you will argue it’s not racism, it’s about the English national team, which only proves my point.

    • Chris says:

      The Suarez and Terry cases are completely different from a legal standpoint. Had a supporter (a member of public) complained about Suarez’s language, he’d have been dealt with in the same time frame as Terry as it would have entailed court proceedings.

      As it was Evra that accused Suarez, it was dealt with ‘in-house’ by the FA – thus meaning that the disciplinary process was able to be ‘accelerated’.

      It’s likely that Terry’s case would’ve been thrown out by the FA due to lack of conclusive evidence had a member of the public not filed an official complaint to the police.

  6. Redskywalker7 says:

    @Nick mate, if you wrote football articles I would read them everytime, great post!

  7. adhikapp says:

    Man FA, its Terry FFS. It’s not like he’s irreplaceable in the England set up. And holding the trial after the Euros? Pfft its not like they will even make it ’til the end. Just do the trial as quickly as possible.

  8. syndex says:

    he shouldn’t be playing because he hasn’t got the pace to play internationally, we may be in the unfortunate position that cappello plays him to show that he is above media proding in his selection process.

  9. SL says:

    Suarez admitted saying, so has Terry plus it was caught on camera. Theres already more evidence in terrys case than Suarez so if Suarez is guilty, so is Terry, even if the court cannot prove it. The level of evidence needed for a guilty verdict is far less for the FA than for a court.

    Also, Suarez manned up and admitted it and gained a bit of respect for that, Terry continues to squirm and try to slime his way out of another scrape yet again. Disgusting.

  10. Rob says:

    Why did they move the case until after the final, it’s a bit hopeful isn’t it?

  11. C says:

    England wont make it past the group stage anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
    Why even bother argue about it?

  12. Ron says:

    Nice piece & well done.

    Innocent until proven guilty & yes, professional athletes are rarely the pinnacle of good behavior, taste, and class.

  13. Del says:

    Chris you disappoint me. How can the rest of the England players respect their Captain when they know he cheated on his wife (with the ex of their other teammate!!) and may or may not be a racist. Consider that the England NT is not 100% white players. Tensions will be running high.

    Personally if it was just about winning games, then yes. John Terry is good at his job. And as far as Chelsea fans are concerned, he helps them win games.

    But when it comes to internationals it’s about so much more than just winning games. It’s about being proud of your country.

    As a fan, I would rather England drew a game but the national looked up to and respected their captain, rather than won the game in the knowldge that the captain is a sleazy racist. -_-

    Overall I think the captaincy should be given to someone else.

    And Chris you suck.

    • Chris says:

      @Del: Because they’re pretty much all as bad as each other. A lot of the squad have been through thick and thin together (Ashley Cole is reportedly testifying on Terry’s behalf) and these latest allegations probably won’t have much effect on their relationships.

  14. garza says:

    I think a Captain needs to be able to lead in more than a physical or strategic capacity. He’s got to have the trust and confidence of the people he’s leading.

    Terry’s a dick. A racist one at that. You think Anton (or anyone else siding with him on this issue) is going to listen to Captain Terry on the pitch? You think anyone will care when he tries to say something motivational in the locker room (not that he’d even try, I don’t know)? He could be the best player out there (haha) and it wouldn’t matter because he has not one shred of moral authority (all we need’s a shred, this is football after all) over his teammates.

  15. Willy da pimp says:

    No matter what happends England’s NT is still massively overrated.

  16. alex ferguson says:

    terry is a disgrace to english football. the FA is sided to him always. for me, the FA is the most racist and corrupted organisation. suarez no evidence, banned 8 games, terry got evidence, no action taken. the english FA is RACIST NUT!

  17. K.V says:

    hes shite on the field, as captain, and off the field. lol i dont understand why anyone would ever miss that cunt on any team when not playing lmfao

  18. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the FA are set to remove his captaincy which is ridiculous really. Because what are the other choices? Missing drug tests Rio, knocked up s 16 year old Gerrard or that knobhead Rooney. Really Terry is the only option and its bollocks this whole story anyway.

  19. anton says:

    and whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty?

  20. Steve K says:

    Alex Ferguson: Go back and read Chris’ post about how the Suarez and Terry cases are very different. If he gets done in court, I have no doubt the FA would slap an even bigger ban on him, but they won’t do anything til the case is finished to prevent influencing it.

    And as for the article, as Terry is innocent til proven guilty I think he should stay on as captain. The squad might not be that bothered about it, we’ve no idea. But if he stays as captain the press will go on and on and on and on about it til we all want to bang our heads on the table. So I reckon he shouldn’t be captain, purely to keep other people happy and shut the press up, which gives England the best chance of success. I hate the press in this country.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What are people talking about, it will affect the dressing room, hes played with black players his entire career, and he has been quite successful if i may say so winning numerous domestic honours with Chels. So that point is just stupid and a good argument for terry haters to use. And taking the captaincy off him before a big tornament, worked well for you in South Africa, just another example of the english sabotaging their own nation team.

  22. Al says:

    @Chris, love this website and your articles are normally great but you really have had a double standard with the Suarez and Terry incidents. You were waxing lyrical about “whingeing” Liverpool fans who were defending Suarez and supporting him. Your article saying that the football and the racism are mutually exclusive is essentially veiled support for him. You are supporting him to protect what is a valuable asset to the England football of which you are a fan. The “whingeing” Liverpool fans were doing the same for their valuable asset but you happily derided them for it, as i said a complete double standard

    He’s just been stripped of the armband anyway

    • Chris says:

      @Al: That’s because Liverpool fans were moaning AFTER Suarez was found guilty – much as I’ll be willing to write Terry off if he’s found guilty too. In my opinion, the disciplinary hearings and the football should remain separate entities until after a verdict has passed.

  23. John says:

    Very surprised that they’ve actually gone and done it. It’s a pleasant surprised though.

  24. TAYPOT says:

    Completely agree with Al. Chris was totally different when it came to Suarez. How dare you condemn us for supporting Suarez when you come out with this later!? And as for innocent until proven guilty….Suarez was never afforded such a luxury he was vilified from the start. And they never could PROVE his guilt. They found him guilty on the balance of probability.

  25. Al says:

    @Chris, I’ve said it on here before and as @Taypot says being found guilty by 3 anonymous FA investigators is not the same as being found guilty in a court, the burden of proof is much lower etc etc. Terry has been formally charged by a countries judicial system which is in my opinion worse than the FA believing Evra’s word over Saurez.
    It makes no odds anyway who England play at center half because Rep of Ireland are nailed on to win the Euro’s

  26. Michael_D says:

    For all of MLS’ faults (and yes, I’m an MLS supporter), the FA is bizarre. They seem to be one of the most arbitrary, political organizations controlling a sport out there; I seem to wonder sometimes who is worse, the FA or Uncle Sepp’s FIFA.

    As Chris pointed out, Terry is innocent until proven guilty; this is precisely why the justice system is the way it is, because otherwise its so easy to make false accusations about people and let it stick. I’m not saying he did what he’s accused of or didn’t, but the fact is at this point its an accusation. And for anyone who’s played sport in their life, there are bust-ups all the time and once you hit the showers its done and over. I certainly haven’t thought about things I’ve been called because at the end of the day I go home to my family and continue living my life: the next week I’m right back out on the pitch ready to play and have a good time. And again, it doesn’t mean I’m condoning what allegedly happened, but these guys are all professionals and have been through worse. To add to what Chris said, as well, its not as if its the Vienna Boys Choir here: these are professional footballers who have likely had their fair share of illegal, illicit and immoral activities. Who among them is the saint? Its just bizarre that the FA would step over the manager to take this decision from what clearly appears to be political pressure.

  27. The Real STFC says:

    For crying out f*cking loud! Are you serious? I thought we were passed the whole delusional ‘the FA took Suarez’s word over Evra’s’ drivel. READ THE REPORT! Only a completely irrational human being could make that argument having read the report.

    Great article. As a law grad, I find it utterly astounding that the FA actually took this action. They have completely disregarded one of the most important aspects of justice in this country (and indeed nearly every developed country; innocent until proven guilty that is) and as such their action can essentially be viewed as prejudicing the course of justice. Unfortunately it seems logic has been thrown out the window at the hands of the British press and Terry’s own reputation (previous ‘abhorrent’ behaviour). Anyone else feel there is a need for better regulation (not censorship) of the press in this country?

  28. chimpo says:

    @th Real STFC- point 1- agree but bear in mind scousers can be quite irrational- see the t-shirt incidents

    point 2- people do get suspended prior to investigations though right? i guess the same can be said hear because of who he is and the high profie nature

  29. Del says:

    @Chris: You’re being a fool about this. And it hurts me to say it because I usually love your website. National games are not just about the footballers. They’re about the country and the people and the fans. When I watch an England match I want to feel proud of my country and it’s football team, regardless of the final scoreline.

    I want to feel complete respect and adoration for our players, I don’t wanna sit there thinking “There’s Rooney, the guy that scored nothing in the world cup and then had the cheek to moan at the fans about it, cheated on his wife and subjected us all to those hideous photos of his scabbed head and chest hair” or “there’s Ashley Cole, the guy that cheated on his wife, spread that disgusting picture of himself and took a gun to work, shot at someone, and got away with it.”

    And don’t you even dare compare the likes of that snake Ashley Cole with people like Scott Parker and Joe Hart. In my opinion they’re much better candidates to take the captain’s armband.

    In fact I would go so far as to say players with a tarnished reputation (wih evidence) should never play for England again. Looking at you Terry, Crouch, Rooney, Cole etc -_-

    We have more than enough bright youngsters rising through the ranks to take their places. This supposed “golden age” of footballers have been failing us for too long. Time to give the new generation a chance. Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Martin Kelly etc.

    And one more thing, how Capello saw fit to return the captains armband to Terry after the whole scandal with Wayne Bridge’s ex I shall never understand. Terry should’ve been dumped for good ages ago.

    I was gonna say sorry for saying you sucked but well, you still suck and I’m still angry at you for posting this rubbish and saying such shit. I have nothing against Nottingham Forest but I hope they get relegated if only to teach you a lesson. -_-

  30. Del says:

    Rant over, I feel better now.

  31. Del says:

    Just remembered the Forest owner died yesterday. That last bit seems terribly insensitive now and I am sorry I said it. But I’m not sorry about everything else.

    Chris I love 99% of the stuff you put post on this site and I check it constantly. What some of us here are trying to tell you is you simply made a blip with this one.

    Anyway let’s just move on from this whole thing. I hate to be at odds with anyone. I hope Nottingham Forest stay up.

  32. neil says:

    Anyone who thinks England can win Euro 2012 is seriously deluded and shouldn’t be allowed out. He’s innocent until proven guilt, yes, very good, we all agree with that one. Now, the point is that the CPS believe they have enough evidence to go to court. They won’t do that lightly, they’ve been made to look silly before and they won’t charge him unless they’ve got him. That’s why the F.A. has acted, they’ve done what they were told to do. All this shit about him being the best at footy is besides the point. HE’LL NEVER CAPTAIN ENGLAND AGAIN.

  33. Suresh says:

    Agree with the innocent until proven guilty thing. Also agree with the notion that Jason Roberts opinion is nothing more than an opinion. However, just from previous incidents, I am guessing Terry is not the most popular or well-respected player in that dressing room. For that reason alone, he shouldn’t be captain.

  34. Sam says:

    As a law grad you’ll know then that people working in other fields are suspended until trial when charged with an offence similar to Terry’s. Innocent until proven guilty is simply not always practical. Yes the official line is that they are innocent but you can hardly have a teacher or doctor continuing to work if accused of abuse, inappropriate conduct or malpractice. When I think of two teaching colleagues charged with (but subsequently cleared of) indecent behaviour, and how their reputations have never recovered from the suspension, Terry is lucky to still be available for England at all and even luckier to still be captaining Chelsea.

  35. rev tim lovejoy says:


    Rooney is NT team captain.

    Rooney takes his hair for a night out and finds some toothless engligh beauty at a bar, plies her with drinks and then takes her to a motel and then does things to her than would make Max Hardcore queasy. She has some serious daddy issues and loves it and asks him for more, rimming, spitting, gaping, multiple appliances and small animals,,.. she stops at nothing.

    Following morning, she goes to the police and cries rape.

    Does Rooney lose the armband even though the nasty sex was consensual?

    Accusations and convictions are NOT the same thing.
    You hear that SL, you dimwitted jackass?

    I can accusse you of sodomizing mountain goats and unburying and licking Amy Winehouse rotting vagina, it doesnt make it true.

    Terry is a degenerate and a world class cunt but at least he never fucked his brothers wife. And having him and the waaaay overated Cahill in the same backfield is a recipe for disaster on waht is a pathetic team (OX has played 5 games so far, so he should start on the NT next week). Best thing that could happen to them is JT leaving on his own and Cahill falling down a flight of stairs.

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