Although there was some worry that John Terry's trial over the alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand would have an impact on Chelsea's season, a judge ruled yesterday that it will not go ahead until the end of the European Championships. The reason, apparently, is that the witnesses won't be available until that date, since they're professional footballers who'll be active until the Euros are over (although if they're all English, the trial could probably be scheduled at the end of the quarterfinals).
Anyway, the trial itself is set for July 9th, which is useful for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that we're not going to have the captain on trial during the middle of the season, which would have been at best a huge distraction and at worse an opportunity for the Blues to have another meltdown. The FA presumably won't move against Terry in terms of a suspension until the trial is over, meaning that Chelsea would have a window open should he be found guilty and suspended, another piece of good news.
And I suppose I should mention that there's a statement from Terry's lawyer buried in all of this:
Now that the court has fixed a date for trial, Mr Terry looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name.
Mr Terry has consistently and resolutely maintained that his well-publicised remarks were made in the belief that he was being accused of racist abuse by Mr Ferdinand.
Mr Terry was shocked and disgusted by that accusation at the time. Mr Terry denies making any racist statement, and will establish in court that he is not guilty of such offence. Mr Terry has never racially abused another player in his entire career.'
-Source: ESPN Soccernet.
The lawyers also entered a not guilty plea on JT's behalf. I wish this would all go away but we're going to have to wait until July to find out one way or another.