John Terry will go down as a Chelsea legend, of this there can be no doubt. The esteem in which the fans hold him ensures he is free from criticism. But for those looking in, the captain of Roman Abramovich’s footballing empire is a questionable human being whose greatest strength is looking after number one. That’s why his latest outburst, informing the world in a post-match interview with the BBC that his contract wasn’t being renewed, should come as no surprise.
It should be noted that the club haven’t flatly refused him an extension. All they have said is that for now they won’t be renewing his contract until a new manager has been appointed. This is a positive step by the London club. In the past there’s been rumours that Abramovich interferes too much with transfers. Clearly, the board want the new boss to have the final say on all ins and outs.
A man that loved the club would appreciate this, respect it, and await his new gaffer’s decision. But that requires a degree of loyalty and honourable behaviour he’s been unable to show his wife, so why an employer should be given special treatment is unfathomable.
Of course this accusation will enrage Chelsea fans but they deserve him and any insults that head in his general direction. They supported him while booing Wayne Bridge for having the audacity to feel disgruntled that Terry slept with his partner.
Somehow Terry manages to appear the victim in spite of his vile actions. Losing the England captaincy was everyone else’s fault but his. Later in his career he announced his retirement from international football after the Anton Ferdinand incident. Being acquitted in court was supposed to render the evidence that made the FA fine him £220,000 irrelevant.
Just because a civil proceeding couldn’t convict intent beyond reasonable doubt doesn’t mean his actions were naïve or without malice. He was playing the wise guy and conned his own fans once again.
He’s using them now to further his own end. If he cared for the club he’d have remained silent until a new manager was confirmed. It’s a Machiavellian plan to force the club’s hand with fan pressure. What makes it worse is how he said in the interview that no man is bigger than the club. So why act out of line as if he is owed special dues?
Chelsea should now emphasise the point that nobody is bigger than the club by withdrawing the offer to wait until a new manager is appointed. Keeping the door half open just places pressure on their shoulders. Furthermore, they should insist Terry makes a new statement declaring his desire to leave regardless of what a new manager says.
This will save face for both parties and Terry can claim he made the original statement because he wanted a definitive answer on his future to remove a long period of uncertainty.
It wasn’t just the club that were in his crosshairs, former players took a hit too. Comments about never playing for another Premier League club was a veiled dig at those, like Frank Lampard, that did stay on in England. The truth is no other top four side would offer Terry a contract anyway.
And if he wants an example of how to behave in the future he could do far worse than take notes on how Frank Lampard conducts himself in public. Always polite, professional and a gentleman.
All the virtues John Terry lacks.