Chelsea: Court decided trial date

04 February 2012 06:46

Chelsea have insisted it was the court's decision to put John Terry's racism trial back to July - a move which led to the Football Association stripping the defender of the England captaincy.

The club's chief executive Ron Gourlay had written to the district judge asking for the trial to be delayed until after the Chelsea players' domestic and international footballing commitments are over for the season.

That appeared to have backfired for Terry after the FA board announced that as a result of the trial date they have decided the 31-year-old will not be the England captain before or during Euro 2012.

At a press conference on Friday Chelsea boss Andres Villas-Boas was asked about their push for a July trial, and a club spokesman responded by saying: "We asked for consideration. We submitted a letter asking for consideration on a business case for Chelsea Football Club and also that it would make it easier for us to present our players if they were requested.

"It was the court's decision after that."

Terry's barrister, George Carter-Stephenson QC, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. The 31-year-old is accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a Barclays Premier League match in October, which he has always denied. He will stand trial on July 9.

Carter-Stephenson also handed the district judge a letter from Chelsea chief executive Gourlay. Villas-Boas said Terry was "disappointed" but that he was not worried about the player's mental state.

The Chelsea manager said: "He is disappointed, but John is a person of good mental strength and great personal convictions. So he has to move on, he has to move on. He went past this period before when he was stripped before of the (England) captaincy.

"He came back to a level still of great individual performances.

"So, in that sense, on the sense of pure player-manager relationship and team, his performances haven't dropped a level."

Source: PA