Andy Gray column: Chelsea could have handled Clattenburg case better

Chelsea's handling of the Mark Clattenburg case has done more harm than good to the whole situation, writes Andy Gray

john obi mikel
Mark Clattenburg is accused of using "inappropriate language" towards John Obi Mikel Photo: TSR

john obi mikel

Although I can’t comment on the details of the Mark Clattenburg case, I do think the way it has been handled by Chelsea and the media was careless – and it has done more harm than good to the whole situation.

Mark has been portrayed as guilty before all the facts have come out, which is never good to see.

Chelsea are in a situation where they stand to be quite severely criticised if the allegations prove to be wrong.

They would have been wiser to sit down, consider the implications of the allegations, and the weight of the evidence, rather than making such an explosive statement just a few hours after a controversial defeat.

It’s a difficult one and it’s sad for football because it’s the sort of thing we didn’t need at the moment given the fact the John Terry saga has just come to an end.

They could have dealt with it internally, or at least more out of the public eye than it has been.

But we have to wait and see – I don’t think all the media coverage has done anyone any good because whatever the outcome, one side will be thrown to the lions slightly.

I hope it won’t be a long, drawn out affair – I would like to think we’ve learnt from the John Terry situation and that the FA will deal with this as quickly as possible but we’ll see.

We certainly can’t have Mark sitting on the sidelines for too long while he’s still an innocent man in the eyes of the law, that’s for sure.

What we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks out of this whole racism saga is the mooted black players union breakaway – but I don’t think being divisive in any way shape or form would be a step forward, and I think a ‘black PFA’ would be divisive.

We’re stronger as a union if we all work together against racism. It has to be tackled as a unified body otherwise we will never get it out of football.

It was refreshing to see the headlines being written about football again this week after the Capital One Cup.

Although Arsene Wenger and Brian McDermott will be angry to have conceded so many goals, for an armchair viewer of the competition, it was a really great advert for a cup which gets a bad press sometimes.

The League Cup was the first trophy I won when playing in England so I have a special regard for it. What makes it so special is the fact it is winnable to so many more teams than the FA Cup.

Any one of those eight left in it are a safe bet and I don’t understand the logic behind some Premier League sides outside of that top four resting big players because it represents a chance to win a trophy.

You can talk about focusing on the league all you want but I became a professional footballer to win trophies and it’s great to see Bradford, Leeds and Middlesbrough in the last eight mixing it with the Premier League sides.

Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store.

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