Chelsea confirm John Terry to keep club captaincy despite suspension
Last Updated: October 20, 2012 4:20pm
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says John Terry will remain the captain of the club, despite his four-game FA suspension for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand of QPR.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo refused to say on Friday whether Terry would remain captain but Buck has now confirmed the player's internal punishment will not include loss of the armband.
However Buck says the defender has been fined by Chelsea and that, while the details will remain confidential, in line with club policy, it is "by far" the heaviest fine they have ever given a player.
He told Talksport: "John Terry will continue to be captain of the club. The other question you're likely to ask is whether we are going to suspend him for any matches, in addition to the four the FA suspended him for, and we are not.
"We have taken disciplinary action. We think it is firm disciplinary action and appropriate for the circumstances. In setting the appropriate level of discipline, we have kept in mind that a court of criminal law found him not guilty.
"Of course we note the FA decision and we certainly respect that decision and we have taken these factors and other factors in mind. We have consulted with the owner, Mr Abramovich, and this is not a decision we have taken lightly."
The Chelsea chairman has also issued an apology to the Ferdinand family, something Terry did not do in his statement on Thursday.
Buck said: "I understand, and as a club we understand, what they have gone through since a year ago and Chelsea Football Club would like to apologise to them. It has been a very difficult year for them and they didn't do anything wrong. And we are sorry."
Gourlay rules out sacking
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said there was no question of Chelsea sacking Terry and that the record fine proved the club have a zero tolerance approach to racism.
"What we have to take into consideration is that John has played over 550 times for the football club and he has captained the side over 400 times," said Gourlay.
"He has led the club and team tremendously during these games, I think he has received about five red cards in that period of time.
"We believe it was a lapse of judgement and that it was out of character on the field for John.
"He did fall below the high standards that we expect at the football club and, as the chairman said, we considered this over a long period of time. He has been disciplined by the club. It is a very, very heavy fine.
"We haven't tolerated the language that John Terry used. We've said it was not acceptable and we have taken action. We know that not everybody is going to agree with this decision but we have tried to focus on improving and on doing better."
Asked to contrast Terry's punishment with the decision to ban a fan from Stamford Bridge for life because they racially abused John Terry, Buck said: "We do have a policy that we will ban fans for life if they are convicted in a criminal court of law.
"If they are not convicted in a criminal court of law we will take other action, which is usually barring them from the stadium for some amount of time.
"With John Terry, he wasn't convicted in a criminal court of law and we have much more different kinds of disciplinary action we can take against him, as distinguished from what we might take against a fan who has done something inappropriate in a stadium."