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What a silly spectacle football has become in the UK

So to summarise the case for the prosecution: Chelsea’s allegation was not credible; it was not supported by credible evidence; the sole piece of evidence provided was directly contradicted by numerous other credible sources; no attempt was made to resolve the issues informally; the allegations were briefed to the press before they were formally submitted to the FA; one allegation briefed to the press was withdrawn before even being submitted to the FA; the referee who was the subjected of the complaint had allegedly been insulted, abused and threatened by the complainant before the charge was submitted to the FA; he had been the subject of allegations by the club that he had been responsible for them losing the match and that club has a recent record of making unfounded allegations against match officials. Mark Clattenburg had his entire livelihood – indeed his liberty – put at risk. Chelsea on the other hand will suffer no points deduction or fine or any other sanction. In fact, they are not even prepared to part with so much as any apology. The law, Chelsea football club and English football are an ass.

Dan Hodges. (This in the Daily Telegraph so some non-UK residents might not be able to read the whole piece.) Essentially, what happened was that after a match between Chelsea and Manchester Utd, Chelsea players alleged – on the basis of what appears to be weak hearsay evidence – that the ref had used racist abuse. At the very start, I find it astonishing that hearsay evidence could be even considered grounds for a complaint. (As hardline defender of free speech I regard “hate-speech” laws as a joke anyway.)

8 comments to What a silly spectacle football has become in the UK

  • Chelsea deserve to be screwed over every day of the week and twice on Sunday for what they did to Anders Frisk.

  • Schrodinger's Dog


    Hate speech laws may be a joke, but they’re a very unfunny joke.

    I loathe them and long to see the day when they are removed from the statute book.

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Since the person levelling these allegations is not now being prosecuted for criminal libel, we all know what to do the next time we are on jury service and some allegation of “racism” is being tried.

  • pete

    Football in the UK has not become a silly spectacle to most people who actually go to matches on a regular basis.

    But these days football is fashionable, and politicians journalists tell the TV masses what to think about it, just like they do about everything else.

    Real fans ignore this input.

  • Rob

    Don’t forget that someone was able to allege that a criminal offence took place despite not being a victim, witness or even anywhere near the place.

    Hopefully Peter Herbert’s Witchfinder General’s aura has been tarnished by this.

  • fan

    Collectively, football supporters are morons. They might, at times, exhibit a certain wit and a cruel sense of humour but at other times they behave appallingly over very little and with virtually no compassion or sense.

    On the other hand, the players are no better. Watch a game and it is not unusual to see footballers pushing each other over who has the the ball at a throw-in –– which is for those who don’t know is the commonest and almost inevitably the least influential restart in the game –– and this AFTER the referee has made a decision whose ball it is.

    But then the Football Authorities can be just as bad in their own bumbling ways.

    In case you wonder, I have watched football avidly for many years. I have long found it to be a beautiful game, but in essence it grows daily more corrupt and stupid and shallow, is played increasingly by idiots who are fed by greed and encouraged by louts who undermine any sense of fair play there ever was.

    It is not an appealing sight these days.

  • David Gillies

    It seems that the colossi of IT that run the DT’s website are, at least for now, using cookies to track ex-pats’ visits. Kill cookies with domain *telegraph* and no more paywall.

  • Alisa

    Collectively, football supporters are morons.

    Collectively, supporters of anything are morons.