Good news, everyone! Sir Alex Ferguson has concluded the FA and Metropolitan Police investigations into the allegations of abuse being levelled at referee Mark Clattenburg.
"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that. I refuse to believe it. I think it is unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don't believe it - simple as that. There is no way a referee would stoop to that, I am convinced of that.
I played myself and I know the banter that went on between referees and players 25 years ago is different from today. I have never heard a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee has sworn at them during a game, ever.
Source: The Guardian
You read that right. Ferguson's calling racism 'banter'.
These comments come in light of Arsene Wenger's and Neil Warnock's comments on the issue, and quite frankly, the responses of these managers has been extremely poor. Regardless of club history and perception, there's no reason why any of these men are at a liberty to cast their own opinion across this issue when the investigation is ongoing.
Chelsea may be short of friends in world football, but that doesn't mean anyone has the right to question their role in the Clattenburg affair - no one other than those in proximity to the incident have the knowledge of what transpired, and as long as no official judgement has been passed, both Clattenburg and Chelsea should be free of any criticism. It's not very hard for the managers to simply reply to any question about the affair by saying "there's a process ongoing." Instead, Ferguson's decided to try and suggest that reputation is a valid reason to write off any allegations against Clattenburg, an argument that beggars belief.
On the whole, the media's coverage of this affair has been atrocious, and these latest comments only serve to illustrate this further.