What's another strange story to add onto the pile of ridiculous nonsense that's been this season so far? Take it away, Charles Sale of the Daily Mail.
Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas is taking legal action against pundit Pat Nevin for alleging he was the player who said he would 'rather lose than win' for Jose Mourinho.
Fabregas has authorised lawyers to send legal letters alleging defamation to former Chelsea player Nevin, who made his claim on BBC Radio Four's flagship Today programme last week. It follows Today sports presenter Garry Richardson saying on his Sportsweek radio show in November that a senior Chelsea player didn't care about results under Mourinho. Richardson brought up the 'rather lose than win' comment with Nevin, who said: 'Yeah, that was Cesc Fabregas, wasn't it?'
While I did listen to Richardson's original allegations that someone in the Chelsea dressing room said those words (in the heat of the moment), I did not listen to this more recent edition of his programme where he apparently discussed the issue with former Chelsea player (and often current Chelsea TV and BBC analyst) Pat Nevin, so I can't really comment on the tone or the exact context of the conversation. It certainly sounds like from that one quote that Nevin is at least under the impression that it was Fabregas who uttered that phrase, even if he's not actually making a direct accusation at the Chelsea midfielder.
Nevin was already in damage control mode on Sunday, sending out the following two tweets.
NB Cfc fans. The story re Cesc is wrong! He was NOT the player saying he wouldn't play for JM. What I said on R4 was misconstrued totally.— Pat Nevin (@PatNevin) December 20, 2015
I thought the press had said CF was the man 6 weeks back. Full thoughts on on my Cfc page on Tuesday. Do not blame Cesc!— Pat Nevin (@PatNevin) December 20, 2015
As promised, he expounded further on the story in his weekly column on Chelsea's official website, as well as offering an apology and urging fans to look beyond the media reports.
During an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme I asked, in passing while talking about some other recent happenings at the club, if the player who said the phrase six weeks ago: ‘I would rather lose than play for Jose,' had been outed in the press as Cesc? I absolutely wasn't having a go at Cesc, but asking the question, as the reporter I was talking to was the one who originally broke that story. Basically I thought that this had been the press line in the following days back then. He replied, ‘No comment'. Even the newspaper put a question mark at the end of my sentence!
-Pat Nevin; source: Chelsea FC
It all sounds plausible enough to me, though I may be more biased in favor of Nevin than Fabregas, ready to believe the old-timer's explanation over Fabregas's latest attempt to prove that he is, in fact, Jose Mourinho's biggest fan. I mean, I get it, I get it, Cesc. First getting the apology from the Secret Footballer, whoever he is, then being the first player to take to social media all sad at Jose's departure, and now this? I get it. You love him. But this thing has the potential to sow discord rather than harmony; is it really worth it?
The fact that we're reduced to fighting amongst each other and defending one Chelsea man against another is rather fitting for this nonsense season we're having.