The defence that saw John Terry cleared of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand was “improbable, implausible and contrived”. That’s the finding of the FA panel that found him guilty of misconduct.
Terry has been banned for four matches and fined £220,000, but only today has a 63-page report explaining how the panel reached that decision been published.
The report reads: “His repetition of words that Mr Terry claims were said to him first by Mr Ferdinand is implausible if they were really intended to be a robust denial.
“A much more plausible and likely explanation is that Mr Terry was angry; angry at Mr Ferdinand’s taunting and provocation of him, angry at the way the match had gone, and angry at the way in which it seemed likely to end.
“The much more likely explanation for what he said is that all of this provoked him into saying [the words].
“[...] “The commission is quite satisfied that there is no credible basis for Mr Terry’s defence that his use of the words were directed at Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry.
“Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult.”
“[...] “The commission is entitled to use its collective experience of life and people to judge demeanour.
“We have watched the film footage many times. In the critical phase, during which he uses the words, Mr Terry can be seen to be smiling initially, before his facial expression changes to disdainful and contemptuous.
“At no point is his demeanour and facial expression that of someone who is imploring, injured, or even quizzical in the face of an unfounded allegation by Mr Ferdinand that he had just been racially abusive towards him.
“Anger is a conceivable reaction to such an accusation, but at no time does Mr Terry convey any sense of ‘no, I didn’t’ with his facial expression, or body language.”
But the panel says it is not its case that Terry is racist.