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Oct 20, 2012

John Terry to continue as Chelsea captain

John Terry has been handed a club record fine by Chelsea but will remain captain, chairman Bruce Buck confirmed Saturday on talkSPORT radio.

The former England captain was suspended for four matches and fined 220,000 pounds ($352,264) by the Football Association for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game between QPR and Chelsea 12 months ago.

Terry decided this week not to appeal the decision, leaving Chelsea to decide what action of their own to take.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo refused to say Friday whether Terry would remain captain but Buck today confirmed he would and that he would not be given an additional ban, although the club has fined him.

"The board made the decision and I respect and support that decision," the Italian said Saturday. "I would have respected the decision (regardless of the outcome) because ultimately they are the board and they make the decisions which are in the best interest of the club. I have an input and we had conversations but ultimately they decide."

Di Matteo refused to confirm whether the player will lead out the Blues in their Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk next week.

"We will have to see, we have to assess the players first," Di Matteo said. "We will have to wait to see what the outcome of the training session tomorrow is."

The details of the fine will remain confidential in line with Chelsea club policy but Buck said it was the heaviest "by far" the club had ever meted out to a player.

"John will continue to be captain of the club," Buck said on talkSPORT. "We have taken disciplinary action and we think it is firm disciplinary action and appropriate for the circumstances. We have kept in mind first of all that a court of criminal law found him not guilty. Of course we also note the FA decision and we certainly respect that decision. We've kept these factors in mind, we've consulted with the owner, Mr. (Roman) Abramovich.

"This is not a decision we've taken lightly, it's not a decision we took in a half-hour meeting, we discussed it over a long period of time and we think we've taken appropriate disciplinary action."

Chelsea players Gary Cahill and Juan Mata both welcomed the news Terry will remain as Chelsea captain.

"Fantastic, I didn't really expect any other outcome to be honest," Cahill told Sky Sports 1. "He has been captain for many years."

Mata added: "He is a great teammate and a really good guy."

Chief executive Ron Gourlay argued Terry's long service to Chelsea should also be taken into account but condemned his behavior in the Ferdinand incident.

"What you've got to take into consideration as well is that John's played over 550 times for the football club, he's captained the side over 400 times, he's led the club and the team tremendously well during these games," Gourlay said. "We believe this was an error of judgment, it was out of character for John. He did fall below the high standards we expect at the club. The language used on the day, whatever the context, was wrong. We've come down on John very, very heavily.

Buck also addressed the punishment meted out to Ashley Cole following his foul-mouthed tweet directed at the FA after his evidence was called into question in their report.

The defender later apologised in person to FA chairman David Bernstein but was charged and fined 90,000 pounds ($144,108).

"The club was surprised by the level of the fine imposed on Ashley Cole," Bucks said. "I don't want to sound like an apologist for him. But he apologized to David Bernstein and the England manager and we would have viewed that as mitigating circumstances."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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