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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesChuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf