Wigan chairman Dave Whelan calls John Terry ruling 'barmy'


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The Independent Football

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has criticised the FA’s decision to charge John Terry over his allegedly racist marks made to Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea’s game versus Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road last October.

Speaking to The Independent, Whelan said he thought the FA’s decision to charge Terry was “wrong” and “very strange” given the player’ acquittal in a court of law.

“I just can’t see how he can be cleared by a court of law and the FA find him guilty. Is that not the law of the land? Is the FA saying a court’s got no power and that’s not justice? It’s barmy.

“There can’t be anyone on that committee that’s played football at any level. If you were to actually play football and go out on that field and listen to how many players fall out with each other, insult each other. It’s colossal. At the end of the game, you shake hands and it’s all done.”

Whelan played down the seriousness of Terry’s confrontation with Ferdinand and suggested racism in football was declining.

“We’re talking about two lads on a football field having a little spat at each other, it happens every week. Football is a game of tension. Colour’s gone now. White, black, pink doesn’t matter. You never get a lad being picked on now, they just fall out between themselves. Lads say things and do things that they don’t mean.”

He went on to state the FA would not take an accusation of racism seriously if it was made by a white player.

“If somebody came on the field, a black lad and he said ‘listen you white b*******’, would there be any charge against him for saying that? Definitely not. But if you say the other word, you’re up.”

Whelan also offered his total support for Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, following the FA’s decision to fine the Spaniard £10,000 for suggesting referee Michael Oliver showed bias in the Latics’ 4-0 away defeat to Manchester United last month.

“Roberto is strictly honest and I think what he said was absolutely true. I would say that all referees do their best and it’s one hell of a job, but I think we should be able to ask questions.

"It (home-team bias) does happen at Man Utd. If you watch Alex Ferguson, he always walks off with the referee at half-time. He is a very, very shrewd manager, make no mistake about that. I don’t think managers should be allowed to go near the referee during the game.”

Whelan added he did not believe an appeal against Martinez’s fine would be “worthwhile”, but said the manager may pursue it as a “matter of principle”.

“I think the FA have looked at it and believed it’s the right thing. I don’t think it’s worthwhile appealing to be perfectly honest.”