The FA don’t do much to help us when it comes to winning friends and influencing people do they?
I mean what sort of decision was that yesterday?
I’m sure there’ll be plenty of supporters laughing their arses off while the back-slapping is still no doubt ringing around the boardroom, but has such a one-sided verdict really done Chelsea as many favours as they think?
The FA Regulatory Committee’s verdict on the ‘Battle at the Bridge’ found both Patrice Evra and Chelsea guilty as charged and yet Evra comes out of it with a 4 game ban and a £15,000 fine whilst Chelsea end up with a fine of just £10,000 more. Because that’ll really hurt them, right?
Now I’m sure I won’t be the only one to suggest the outcome weighs heavily in Chelsea’s favour. But I suppose the question is why would a Chelsea supporter be bothered about that? Well, I suppose because I never really trusted Bethell’s version of events in the first place. As I previously suggested, it was obvious he was deliberately winding up the opposition before the fighting broke out and rather than deal with an employee bringing embarrassment on the club, Chelsea decided to support him. So is this really their idea of good PR or did they have another motive for it?
As far as I can see, they did. You see, there were racist undertones and clearly no club would want to be associated with anything quite so distasteful. So Chelsea, in their wisdom decided that a full show of support would somehow prove nothing out of order was said – after all, they wouldn’t dream of having that sort of thing at the club would they? Or at least I think that was their general idea.
However, like I said at the time, I think this was a pretty misguided attempt to distance themselves from any allegations of racism. And yet surely a more appropriate way to deal with the whole sorry mess would’ve been to distance themselves from Bethell himself? After all, his conduct was definitely a sackable offence anyway? Surely that would’ve shown that they genuinely find this sort of thing unacceptable? Because from where I’m sitting, irrespective of the why’s and wherefores, top clubs just wouldn’t have employees thinking it’s ok to throw their weight around and gob off at visiting players.
As it is, because Chelsea couldn’t even get their act together over a groundsman’s contract (something they were found guilty of although not penalised for), Bethell has walked away from the whole thing.
And as for Chelsea’s reputation – well, the players have been accused of thinking they’re above the law before, not least of all after John Terry’s red card was rescinded this season – will the FA’s disparity in punishment’s yesterday have helped on that score?
I severely doubt it and so we can count on a backlash.