Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has defended the club’s decision to report referee Mark Clattenburg for allegedly aiming racial abuse at their players, saying they would have been ‘crucified’ had they not taken action. Clattenburg stands accused of making a racist comment to John Obi Mikel during the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge
in October, a game in which he made a number of controversial decisions, and has not officiated since.
But Buck has been astounded by the reaction to Chelsea’s decision to report Clattenburg to the FA, which has included calls of bitterness in the wake of defeat to hypocrisy after standing by captain John Terry, who was found guilty of racial abuse and banned for four games by the FA.
“The reaction has been very unfair,” Buck told the Evening Standard . “We weren’t interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, had no thoughts of revenge on the referee.
“He made two obvious mistakes [sending Fernando Torres off and allowing Javier Hernandez’s offside winner] which changed the tide.
“I felt we had the moral high ground, so I didn’t really feel that bad about the defeat or have that feeling in my stomach. I thought we’d be treated very kindly in the newspapers next day.”
Buck insists the club were duty bound to call for the incident to be investigated, and that linking the claims to the John Terry affair is unfair.
“The press seem to juxtapose ‘our support’ of John Terry and what’s going on here and looking at us as being a bit hypocritical,” Buck added. “We have to divorce the John Terry situation from this. From our perspective, the latest situation was pretty straightforward.
“We have an obligation to report what may be misconduct. We did that, in good faith and not maliciously.
“Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, ‘Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider.’ If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.”