Bruce Buck has rarely had to speak out in the press, but with recent stories surrounding the Mark Clattenburg race row aiming abuse at Chelsea FC, he felt the need to speak out.
Bruce Buck said: The reaction has been very unfair, We weren’t interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, had no thoughts of revenge on the referee. He made two obvious mistakes sending Fernando Torres off and allowing Javier Hernandez’s offside winner which changed the tide.
“I felt we had the moral high ground, so I didn’t really feel that bad about the defeat or have that feeling in my stomach. I thought we’d be treated very kindly in the newspapers next day.”
Nor was the decision arrived at lightly. “It was made after a great deal of anguish and after talking long and hard that evening about what should we do.”
The club had no choice once the two players, John Obi Mikel and Ramires, insisted that Clattenburg used the term ´monkey´ but to make an official complaint.
“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.”
The Chelsea Chairman also starts to talk about the process they went through with the players saying: “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 process that they had to be 100% sure on for them to make this official.”
I personally am shocked that we, as a club, have been victimised for reporting the abuse, as though we are such bad losers that we would create a story, people need to realise that we we´re the victims here and when the report comes out everybody will see that!