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Buck: Chelsea had no choice but to report Clattenburg

Buck: Chelsea had no choice but to report Clattenburg

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The Blues' chairman believes the wider reaction to the club's complaint has been unfair, and argues trying to cover up the matter internally would have been even worse

Chelsea had no choice but to report Mark Clattenburg to the Football Association for using racist language, chairman Bruce Buck insists.

The Blues filed a complaint following last month's controversial Premier League defeat to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, claiming that Clattenburg, the referee that day, had called midfielder Jon Obi Mikel a "monkey".

Clattenburg has not refereed a match since as both the FA and the Metropolitan Police conduct separate investigations into the matter, and some have suggested Chelsea's complaint may have been maliciously motivated.

That the incident occurred while Blues captain John Terry was serving a four-match FA ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand has also left the club open to allegations of hypocrisy.

But Buck is adamant the club were duty-bound to report the matter once they became aware of it, and believes it would have been wrong to try to cover up the matter internally for PR purposes.

“The reaction has been very unfair,” he told the Evening Standard. “We weren’t interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, had no thoughts of revenge on the referee.

“We were guided by obligations that are imposed by the Football Association and also as an employer. FA rule E14 basically says a participant shall immediately report to the association any incident or matter which may be considered to be a misconduct.

“Misconduct is a defined term under the FA regulations and includes such racial behaviour. We also had to ­consider the Equality Act 2010, which imposes an obligation on an employer to take certain actions if an employee is subject to discrimination by third parties.

“Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, ‘Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider.' If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.

“I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times. I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them, if they might have heard 'Mikel' instead of 'monkey'. I thought I had covered that base.

“[The decision] was made after a great deal of anguish and after talking long and hard that evening about what should we do.”

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