For the second time in his football career, John Terry was yesterday given the news that he was to be stripped of his England captaincy. Fabio Capello was left unconsulted and will once again return from Italy to find his team a shambles, a mere four months before a major tournament.
Surely this begs the question of why 14 men in a board room can make such career defining decisions, based merely on allegations? Whether or not John Terry is innocent is irrelevant; we live in a democratic society whereby we are all innocent until proven guilty. Except in football it seems.
Whilst this ethos may become slightly more difficult in Terry’s case considering that the accusations come from Rio Ferdinand’s brother, surely the point still stands? Though David Bernstein may insist that the decision “in no way infers any suggestion of guilt”, the very opposite is inherent within it.
That the allegations reflect badly on the team is a charge that cannot be denied, however striking Terry off before a ruling has been made, equally does nothing to repair England’s reputation. The argument that the court process could affect Terry’s ability to do his job hold more weight; though surely this is a decision Terry and Capello would have to decide?
Unity of the English team is of course important, but surely players should be able retain professionalism at all times, regardless of any allegations? For me at least, this whole process appears somewhat shambolic.