Following John Terry’s not guilty verdict in court, the racism case has, pending an FA sanction, come to a close nine months on from the incident in question.
Yet, in between the QPR vs Chelsea match on 23rd October 2011 and John Terry’s acquittal, the allegations have worked concurrently with Harry Redknapp’s own trial and Chelsea’s volatile season in an ironic domino effect of events.
3 February 2012, in direct response to the Anton Ferdinand incident and the Crown Prosecution’s decision to charge John Terry of racial abuse, the FA stripped John Terry of his England captaincy without the consent of then England manager Fabio Capello.
Harry Redknapp was acquitted of tax evasions charges that afternoon and only a few hours later did Capello resign from his England post feeling undermined by the FA after their decision to strip Terry of his captaincy despite his support for him.
Having already been marked out as the leading candidate for the England job that would become available following Euro 2012, speculation soon intensified on Harry Redknapp to become the next England manager but with disastrous consequences for Tottenham Hotspur.
From the date of Redknapp’s acquittal and Capello’s resignation, Spurs went on a derisory run of results only winning twice in 10 Premier League games and saw them slip to fourth at the end of the season despite an apparent stranglehold of third place. Even so, Harry Redknapp had precariously secured them Champions League football and looked likely to stay on.
Roy Hodgson had also been appointed England manager and the England speculation had been put to bed.
However, a Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea deprived Tottenham of their right to compete in next season’s Champions League in their fateful conquest of the trophy against Bayern Munich in May. It was during Spurs’ poor run that Chelsea dismissed Andre Villas-Boas who was replaced by assistant Roberto Di Matteo who galvanised the faltering team to two trophies.
It was this combined with Redknapp’s failure to finish third, not fourth, considering the position they had been in, which led to his own sacking in June.
One is left to ponder however if Tottenham would have suffered a poor run of results had it not been for the speculation. And were it not for Capello’s resignation over John Terry, there would surely have been no speculation.
The intertwining of these events became further more ironic when Spurs hired Villas-Boas to replace Redknapp. If his dismissal at Chelsea was an influencing factor to their victory in Munich, the managerial opening at Tottenham would likely not have happened had it not been for Chelsea’s win in that final.
Furthermore, it was Roy Hodgson’s West Brom’s 1-0 win against Chelsea in March that incited Abramovich’s move to sack his manager. Di Matteo who replaced AVB at Chelsea was Roy Hodgson’s predecessor at West Bromwich Albion and Hodgson himself is now England manager instead of Harry Redknapp.
And at the root of all this is what John Terry allegedly said to Anton Ferdinand. Little did he know he had started a complex game of musical chairs.
Timeline of events:
23 October 2011 – QPR vs Chelsea, John Terry accused of racially aggravated abuse towards Anton Ferdinand.
21 December 2011 – John Terry charged by UK’s Crown Prosecution for the alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.
3 February 2012 – FA strips John Terry of England captaincy.
8 February 2012 (afternoon) – Harry Redknapp acquitted of tax evasion charges.
8 February 2012 (night) – Fabio Capello resigns as England manager later that evening over John Terry.
February ~ April 2012 – Tottenham Hotspur win twice in 10 Premier League games.
3 March 2012 – Roy Hodgson’s West Bromwich Albion beat Chelsea.
4 March 2012 – Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea. Replaced by Roberto Di Matteo.
19 May 2012 – Chelsea win Champions League and qualify for the following season’s competition. Tottenham, despite finishing fourth, drop into the Europa League.
13 June 2012 – Harry Redknapp sacked as Tottenham manager.
3 July 2012 – Tottenham hire Andre Villas-Boas as manager.
13 July 2012 – John Terry cleared of racially aggravated abuse.
What does the future hold for Terry, Chelsea, and Tottenham? And even the FA itself?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald