John Terry denied a legal double but court's verdict will trump FA's

The fine is steep. The ban, however, could have been a lot worse

Cleared in a court of law, but found guilty by the Football Association. It is rather like choosing between winning the Champions League or the FA Cup, as Chelsea did last season. Whatever the repercussions of yesterday's judgment, John Terry will know that in terms of his reputation, the greater prize, the equivalent of the Champions League, was the not guilty verdict in Westminster magistrates' court.

Had Terry been found guilty in July of the racially aggravated abuse charge against him, his reputation would have been all but destroyed. He could not have been described as a racist per se, senior judge Howard Riddle was clear about that, but he would have been guilty of having made a racist comment, a stain that would be difficult to wash off.

The truth is that the FA charge will matter much less to Terry. Anyone with the slightest understanding of the procedure will know that the burden of proof in court was the criminal standard – beyond reasonable doubt – while with the independent regulatory commission at Wembley it was the civil standard, the balance of probabilities. Terry might not have been able to do the legal double, but Westminster will always trump Wembley.

What next for Terry? The fine is steep, and will hurt a man who has always sought to maximise the value of his contracts and endorsements despite his considerable wealth. The ban, however, could have been a lot worse. Potentially he will be back by the end of next month if he accepts the FA's punishment and in the meantime he will play in two high-profile Champions League games in Denmark and Ukraine where he will be right at the centre of attention.

Terry will wait until he receives the full written judgment from the commission before he makes his decision whether or not to appeal. The contents of that judgment will be revealing but it is worth bearing in mind that little could be as excruciating as the level of disclosure he was forced to go through in court in July with his explanation of the "shagging [Wayne] Bridge's missus" jibe and the songs sung about his mother.

It is a hunch that he may decide to take the Lance Armstrong approach, opting against appealing but still protesting his innocence and expressing a desire to bring the process to a close. Certainly, to his supporters, that would not be an admission of guilt, simply further evidence to stoke their belief that the process is flawed.

By nature, Terry is not the type to give up even though his legal bills will be enormous. He has proven himself to be extremely durable and he may feel that to accept the commission's verdict is unacceptable.

However, his greatest fear, that a guilty verdict in court could leave his position at Chelsea vulnerable is no longer a concern. He has had the backing of the club all the way. The chairman, Bruce Buck, accompanied him to Wembley for every day of the hearing, just as he was in court for the full five days. Even if Terry accepts the commission's verdict, his position at the club is not in doubt.

Terry has one year left on his contract after this season and he will doubtless be thinking soon that he would like to extend that deal. For supporters of the club, it is a no-brainer. He is the most successful captain in their history, and a man they believe has been persecuted unfairly. Yesterday's verdict may have gone against Terry but he will not consider that to be catastrophic, as long as he can portray himself as the man who won the big one in July.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little