Both Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have questioned Chelsea’s claim that Matt Clattenberguy racial abused John Obi Mikel during Sunday’s Chelsea v United clash at Stamford Bridge
Arsene Wenger first brought up the subject yesterday saying:
‘I believe one of the best things in sport is it’s a battle when it is on. You can sort out the problems you had, especially in England, internally. If it comes to making the lawyers rich I’m not a fan of it.
‘One of the great things in sports as well is tolerance, forgiveness and explanation internally and I think it should stay like that. It can happen that a referee doesn’t behave well, I do not say they are angels, but it is always better to sort it out in the room.’
‘I didn’t follow the whole (Chelsea) story completely (but) my opinion is just when I didn’t behave well I have an explanation with the referee at the end of the game or another day, rather than going public with little proof. I’m not in favour of making these things public.’
Today, Sir Alex Ferguson was even stronger is criticism of Chelsea’s claims saying
‘I don’t believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comment like that,’ said Ferguson.
‘I think it’s unthinkable. It’s unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don’t believe it.
‘There’s no way a referee would stoop that low. I’m convinced of that.
‘If you look at the modern game compared to 25 years ago it’s completely changed. I know the banter between players and referees 25 years ago is completely different.
‘I have never heard a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee has sworn at them during a game, ever.
‘This is where I stand on this issue with Mark Clattenburg. I just don’t believe it.’
It will be really interesting to see how this all falls out for Chelsea, who were strongly criticized just last month for the handling of the John Terry racial abuse case.
But to publicly accuse on of the the best referee’s in the country of racially abusing their players (one of those claims has since been dropped), Chelsea have to be more than 100% sure that they are right here because the repercussions and damage to the club will be huge if these charges are proven to be false.
It has been a magical six months on the pitch for Chelsea. They are Champions of Europe and top of the Premier League, but all that is forgotten because of the Terry and Clattenburg cases. When we look back at this season for Chelsea, will we remember the play of Mata, Hazard and Oscar, or the John Terry and Mark Clattenburg?