Sponsors shun Terry over charge for racism

Umbro downplay association with England captain, who heads for court on 1 February

John Terry's marquee sponsor Umbro has distanced itself from the England captain by removing from its website all key images of the player, who now faces a courtroom battle to save his reputation after being charged with racially abusing the Queen's Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand.

In another dramatic 24 hours in English football yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that there was a "realistic prospect of conviction" in the case of Terry, who is charged with "a racially aggravated public order offence" and will face court on 1 February. In the meantime, Umbro, which has had Terry as an endorsee for most of his professional career, has made a company decision to downplay its connection with the player.

The website of the sportswear company, which is owned by Nike, features only one picture of Terry and a search of his name yields only three results. England team-mates such as Joe Hart, Gareth Barry and Darren Bent are all featured on the UK homepage, as well as Michael Owen, but Terry, who remains the England captain, has been omitted.

As manufacturers of the England kit, Umbro has always sought to be the boot sponsor for the team's captain. It sponsored Alan Shearer when he was captain before David Beckham, who was an Adidas player. It is understood that Terry's contract with Umbro is due to expire at the end of the season. An Umbro spokeswoman declined to comment last night.

Following Luis Suarez's eight-match ban and fine from an independent commission on Tuesday, the announcement on Terry meant that there will be pressure on the Football Association to decide whether the Chelsea player will be able to continue as the England captain. As of last night, the governing body refused to make any comment on the issue although it is understood that it has made no firm decision on Terry's future.

When Steven Gerrard was charged with assault and affray at the end of 2008 he was permitted to continue playing for the national team on the basis that he was innocent until proven guilty. He was later acquitted. Fabio Capello took that stance with Terry when he was called up by England last month, playing in the second friendly against Sweden.

However, the FA has a prerogative that these highly charged issues have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that Terry will be able to represent England when they play the Netherlands on 29 February unless the legal process has been completed.

Although Terry is due in court on 1 February, a not guilty plea will mean that the case is adjourned and it is almost certain not to have been resolved by the time of the friendly. He is charged with a summary offence, which does not carry a custodial sentence, but he could be fined up to £2,500 if found guilty.

The CPS case against Terry also means that it will be difficult for the FA not to charge the player when the legal process is completed. Its investigation was put on hold while the CPS investigated and will have to resume once the court case has finished.

Within minutes of the CPS announcing their decision yesterday, Terry issued a public statement reiterating his belief in his own innocence. He said: "I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible.

"I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends. I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society."

There was a robust defence of Terry from his manager, Andre Villas-Boas, who said at his press conference, before the CPS statement, that he would support the player "whatever happens". Villas-Boas said: "We know exactly his human values and personality, so we will support him whatever happens. I've not the right to say that their justice is wrong. He is fit and available." In the aftermath of the CPS announcement, Chelsea said that they had "always been fully supportive of John in this matter and there is no question that we will continue to be so".

The allegation relates to Chelsea's game at QPR in October when footage of a dispute between Ferdinand and Terry seemed to show the latter using the phrase "black c***". Terry said he used the phrase but only in the context of rebutting Ferdinand's accusation that he had called him that.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style