Date:Tuesday January 9 2007
John Terry and Chelsea backed down yesterday in the dispute over his red card against Tottenham in November.
These tactics being used to get Terry back playing sooner.
In a U-turn designed to impress the FA's disciplinary commission, Terry yesterday withdrew his request for a personal hearing on the improper-conduct charge that he was given following criticisms of the referee Graham Poll after the defeat to Spurs on 5 November. The Chelsea captain has now adopted a more complex legal position in which he will admit to the improper conduct charge but still deny that he 'intended' to call Poll's integrity into question.
The charge was laid against Terry after he accused Poll of giving him two separate and conflicting reasons for awarding a second yellow card against him in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane. When Terry then requested a personal hearing to fight the charge it opened the possibility of the FA's compliance unit having to play the prosecutor against the man Steve McClaren picked as his new captain in August.
It also means that Terry will not have to attend Soho Square today as the accused; instead, Chelsea's legal team, led by the barrister Jim Sturman QC, have sent a written submission. The delicate distinction they are making is that while Terry has now accepted that his actions amounted, under FA rules, to 'improper conduct', he will tell the commission that it was never his intention to question Poll's integrity.
After the match Terry said that Poll had told him on the pitch that the first yellow card was for barging Hossam Ghaly. He then claimed that Poll had changed his mind. Terry said: 'After the game, he [Poll] then said to me it was for the fall when me and Ledley King fell so, you know, he's obviously had a look at it, or got people to look at it and decided that's probably the best option for him and it covers every angle for him.'
He is expected to receive a fine similar to the £10,000 penalty given to Arsène Wenger for improper conduct earlier in the season.
Ed's note.... Is this really the man we want to lead England, the guy obviously has no morals, every time he speaks now who will believe him other than the Chelsea 'Fan's nouveau'!
The problem will come when he has a 'genuine' grievance!
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