Comments on JT case - warning it's quite long!
1. This case was about comments nobody heard or saw.
2. Nobody, even the lip-reading experts, could properly contextualise the FBC words as they could not say whether the word 'a' or 'ya' preceded it.
3. After a full trial and cross-examination on oath JT was found not guilty; there is not verdict of not proven.
4. The FA got round their Rule 6.8, which requires them to accept the verdicts and matters of fact from previous civil or criminal hearings in two ways.
5. They widened the ambit of the charge.
6. They introduced 'new' evidence which they say was 'clear and convincing'
7. That evidence was neither, part of it being an uncorroborated, hearsay comment of an un-named pitch side reporter used in a newspaper article. Whatever your opinion of JT, were this sort of thing to go on in employment proceedings against you, you would complain bitterly.
8. The FA procedures that allow it to not apply the normal rules of evidence allows this sort of evidence and it is wholly inappropriate in serious cases like this.
9. The FA found JT was not a racist.
10. All this, and I am aware that many had made their mind up about JT whatever the evidence, comes down to one essential point - if you make a racially based insult does that automatically make you racist, irrespective of the fact that it is made after what the FA stated was 'extreme provocation by the wholly inappropriate behaviour of Mr. Ferdinand?'
11. I believe it is, though it is still not acceptable.
12. As with Luiz Suarez, I do not believe JT is a racist. If you look at the proper definition of that word no player, especially a captain or leader of the line, could play for years within a multi-cultural environment as exists at most EPL clubs. In both cases scores of statements from players and managers of all creeds and colour stated that neither player was racist.
13. The Ferdinand (Rio) and Terry feud goes back at least 8 years and was influential in what happened after the game.
14. I maintain there was not sufficient evidence to found either charge; just watching the video and making your own mind up without hearing the evidence and expert evidence is, in my opinion, not the way to judge matters and I suspect that many did so because they do not like JT in general.
15. All that said, what JT said was wrong and should not have been said; he should apologise fully and accept the ban and fine.
16. The FA, EPL, PFA and POGMOL have made the Respect campaign a sick joke. That the panel were prepared to find that if JT's comments had not been said as an insult that they would have been ok and the fact that AF's behaviour is deemed acceptable is disgraceful. They already have the power to stop this but do not have the will or conscience.
17. Ashley Cole, despite being one of Arsenal, Chelsea and England best and most consistent players over a decade, is an intellectually-challenged yoof and needs to grow up and shut up.