John Terry has been handed a club record fine by Chelsea but will remain the Premier League team’s captain, Chairman Bruce Buck said.
The soccer club acted after Terry, 31, was suspended for four matches and fined 220,000 pounds ($352,000) by England’s Football Association for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers during a game last October. The former England captain this week decided not to appeal the sanctions and the club followed up by taking action of its own.
“John will continue to be captain of the club,” Buck said in comments to Talksport radio posted on Chelsea’s website today. “We are not going to suspend him for any additional matches to the four the FA have suspended him for, but we have taken disciplinary action we think is firm and appropriate.”
Neither Buck nor Chief Executive Officer Ron Gourlay disclosed the fine amount in their radio interview.
“We have come on John very heavily,” Gourlay said. “John let himself down and the club down and the words were inappropriate. We feel that we have dealt with this.”
Terry was acquitted by a London court in a criminal case over the incident in July. The FA’s punishment came after a four-day hearing last month.
Gourlay said Terry’s long service to Chelsea was taken into account in the club’s penalty.
“John has played over 550 times for the football club and he has captained the side over 400 times and led the club tremendously well through these games, so we believe it was a lapse in judgment and was out of character,” he said. “But he did fall below the high standards we expect.”
Buck also apologized to Ferdinand’s family, something Terry didn’t do in a statement two days ago in which he said he would not appeal the FA’s ban and fine.
“We understand what they have gone through and Chelsea Football Club would like to apologize to them,” Buck said. “It has been a very difficult year for them. They haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t be suffering.”
Terry began his suspension today as Chelsea came from behind to win 4-2 at Tottenham.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.