Another Chelsea game and another raft of accusations against officials after losing. It seems that the two are inextricably linked. The only surprise is that this time John Terry was sat in the stands, having been banned for four games due to his FA conviction for racist abuse. They say that a dog reflects its owner; well it seems that applies also to football teams. In the case of Chelsea, they have an owner with a dubious background in his native country. Chelsea and Abramovich it seems are not very good losers. There is a firestorm of abuse and allegations made against all and sundry every time they lose a match. All sorts of ridiculous accusations about scurrilous officials and underhand tactics by opposing teams punctuate every loss. It seems a bit rich from someone whose sudden rise to the ranks of the mega rich was less to do with any sort of brilliant business career and more to do with being the right hand man of Boris Yeltzin. It is therefore no surprise that intimidation in the face of defeat is the order of the day for Chelsea FA. But don’t take my word for it. Just take a look at the facts.
First of all we had the Champions League game against Barcelona in 2005. Frisk had quite rightly sent off Drogba. In the aftermath of the match, Jose Mourinho made utterly unsubstantiated accusations about the referee that he was somehow in league with the Barcelona manager, Frank Rijkaard. It was later proven to be totally incorrect, but Frisk received death threats and he retired early for the sake of his family. Mourinho received a two match touchline ban.
Bonfire night 2006 saw Chelsea play Spurs at White Hart Lane. This had been a happy hunting ground for Chelsea for the previous 16 years. However, on this night, referee Graham Poll sent off John Terry having given him two yellow cards. This turned the match, and as a consequence, Tottenham won. Terry went to Poll after the match for an explanation, which referee Poll politely gave him. Terry seemed to have accepted the explanation, but Ashley Cole made an allegation that Poll had been overheard saying that he was going to "teach them a lesson", referring to Chelsea. The then FA chief, Brian Barwick had to intervene. Chelsea withdrew their ridiculous claims two weeks later and Terry accepted a £10,000 fine. Once again, the referee, Poll, decided to retire after receiving threatening messages from Chelsea.
Roll on to 2009, and incredibly, yet another encounter with Barcelona. In the third minute of added time, a goal by Andres Iniesta settled it for Barcelona. What followed can only be described as an all-out assault by Chelsea players against the referee, Tom Ovrebo. Chelsea had been denied a number of spurious penalty claims, with Drogba, particularly, diving all over the penalty box in an embarrassing display. Ballack, an experienced German international, ran towards the referee, screaming abuse and totally out of control. Drogba shouted at the cameras, "It’s a f**king disgrace". (Interestingly, he was never charged with anything, yet Wayne Rooney was banned for four matches a couple of years later for an exact offence?). The furore from the Chelsea `fans` was such that the referee had to be escorted to an unmarked car and taken to a safe house for his own protection. Once again, Chelsea fans were found to have issued death threats to the referee’s home. He later decided to spend his final years refereeing matches in his home country of Finland.
There is a pattern here. A series of false and utterly contemptible allegations made without a shred of evidence and made with spiteful intent, to denigrate an officials standing in the game. At this point, we already know that Clattenberg has denied the allegations and he has been backed by three independent officials who were listening in to the conversations on their earpieces.
Should we find that once again, Chelsea have made false allegations about an official, it is about time there were proper sanctions against an out of control club, run by an out of touch oligarch who thinks that he is above the law.