Sunday 22 April 2018

Relieved Terry sets sights on Chelsea's future

Jason Burt

John Terry has spoken of his relief at being able to return to playing football following his acquittal on a charge of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

The Chelsea captain said he was "delighted to get back to football, concentrate on what I love doing" after the stress of the week-long trial and as he waits to find out whether he -- and, potentially, Ferdinand -- will now be charged by the FA.

Terry did not want to discuss the details of the case with the findings of the FA's own inquiry looming and a decision expected by the end of this week as to whether he faced the prospect of a ban and a fine under rule E3 which prohibits improper conduct including "indecent or insulting words or behaviour."

During the trial the 31-year-old denied racially abusing Ferdinand and was found not guilty, although in his written judgment the chief magistrate, Howard Riddle, expressed some scepticism that Terry was simply repeating racist words as a denial.

Whether he is charged or not by the FA, Terry faces a testing campaign again with claims from sources close to some black players in the Premier League that they will snub him. There will also be the barracking of away fans to contend with and even during Wednesday's friendly in Philadelphia against the MLS All-Stars, there were chants from some of the so-called "Sons of Ben" a fans group who follow the local club, Philadelphia Union, accusing Terry of being a racist.

Terry said he hoped he could simply concentrate on playing as Chelsea have "some big games coming up and I'm looking forward to being part of that." Next month there is the Community Shield, the start of the Premier League season and then the European Super Cup against Atletico Madrid. They will also feature in the Club World Cup in December.

Terry admitted that he had "only had a few days off" because of Euro 2012 and the trial following close on the exertions of the last campaign, but said that he "felt good" and was fit and ready. He will also help "settle in" some of the young, exciting attacking players Chelsea have acquired, including Eden Hazard and Marko Marin.

With more than £65m already committed on acquiring Hazard, Marin and Oscar and with two more players expected to be signed -- Wigan's Victor Moses and Marseille's Cesar Azpilicueta -- that spending could be pushed out to more than £80m this summer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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