The controversy over the racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand by John Terry rages on but Chelsea have come out in a show of support for their captain. Meanwhile Everton have signalled their ambitions of a Champions League place by signing German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger until January.
John Terry to continue as Chelsea Captain
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Ron Gourlay have confirmed that John Terry will remain on as Chelsea skipper despite the later being found guilty of racism charges by the FA. The FA imposed a four match ban on Terry and also accused the Chelsea and former England captain of spoiling the image of English football. John Terry’s statement on Friday highlighted that he would not be appealing the ban and the £220,000 (€260,000) fine given to him. Terry’s ban starts with today’s game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The top officials at Chelsea however, refused to strip John Terry of the captaincy. Instead the sanction would take the form of a “very heavy fine” on the captain.
“What we have to take into consideration is that John has played over 550 times for the football club and he has captained the side over 400 times.. He has led the club and team tremendously during these games, I think he has received about five red cards in that period of time.. We believe it was a lapse of judgement and that it was out of character on the field for John. He did fall below the high standards that we expect at the football club and, as the chairman said, we considered this over a long period of time. He has been disciplined by the club. It is a very, very heavy fine. We haven’t tolerated the language that John Terry used. We’ve said it was not acceptable and we have taken action. We know that not everybody is going to agree with this decision but we have tried to focus on improving and on doing better.” - Ron Gourlay
This statement come as a huge relief to Terry who has been subject to some scathing criticism over recent weeks after he was guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. After being forced to retire from international football due to “untenable” circumstances, the show of support from the Chelsea boardroom will help boost Terry’s confidence and possibly breathe a new lease of life for his career.
Everton sign Hitzlsperger
Everton have secured the signature of former West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger. The German international who has more than 50 caps to his name will be on a short-term contract with The Toffees until January.
The German midfielder known for his lethal left foot has been without a club since his departure from Wolfsburg in the summer. However, the spell at Everton could breathe a new lease of life for the 30 year old whose career has somewhat stalled since his departure from German club Stuttgart in 2010.
Everton announced his signature on Friday afternoon and Hitzlsperger could be involved in Everton’s QPR clash on Sunday. The Toffees are currently on a rich vein of form having lost just one of their seven opening league games. David Moyes will hope that the arrival of the German international would only help boost the Blues for Merseyside who are outside contenders for a Champions League spot this season.