LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Chelsea FC football player John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates court on July 12, 2012 in London, England. The former England captain allegedly made racist comments to Queens Park Rangers defender Ferdinand during a match on October 23rd last year, at Queens Park Rangers' ground, Loftus Road, in west London and a verdict is expected tomorrow morning. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
We expected to hear whether or not John Terry would be charged in relation to his comments towards Anton Ferdinand today, and sure enough we have. The FA have released a statement on their website, I've copied the relevant part below:
After seeking advice from an external Independent QC, and having considered the evidence and Magistrates' Court decision in the John Terry case, The FA has today charged the Chelsea player following an alleged incident that occurred during the Queens Park Rangers versus Chelsea fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.
It is alleged that Terry used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand, contrary to FA rules.
It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand.
This charge is the result of The FA’s long-standing enquiries into this matter, which were placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial, and relates to rules governing football only.
Terry now has a week to respond to the charges laid against him, but I'd assume he already had this denial planned well in advance. This is likely just the beginning of another long, drawn out affair, as the FA will have a hearing, likely decide to ban Terry, and then likely face what will be a very interesting appeal. This thing has been a disaster from the start, and I'm sure it's going to continue to be a messy affair for the coming months as well.
As far as the club should be concerned on the pitch, this probably only enhances the need to reinforce at right back. Chelsea should really be planning for an 8 game ban between now and the January window, and in that time Branislav Ivanovic will likely be even more necessary as cover for the center of the defense. Hopefully the club takes care of business on that front in the very near future, as it will certainly help alleviate a potential defensive mess this fall. Get ready for another circus, because we're getting to do this all over again.