Ashley Cole has recently been charged with misconduct by the FA for his Twitter comment, for which he has apologised for. How do the FA react?
Ashley Cole has recently been charged with misconduct by the FA for his Twitter comment, for which he has apologised for. The FA have been consistently inconsistent with bans this season, dishing out 8 games to Suarez and 4 games and a fine for Terry for the same offence. For me, this is a chance for the FA to lay a marker down. If you want to call us ‘tw*ts’ then, you can do, but expect a heavy ban for it. I say ban because I simply don’t think a heavy fine is enough, given that a modern footballer in the Premier League can expect to earn around 100k a week. Money isn’t a deterrent for players who have a surplus of it. What is a heavy fine for a footballer anyway? John Terry was fined £225k for being racist to Anton Ferdinand, which is a couple of week’s wages at the most. Either fine them £2-3m or stop them playing football, because the system doesn’t work at the moment.
Twitter is a great way for fans to connect to their heroes, which previously wouldn’t have been available. Fans can tell players what they think and can, sometimes, get a response from them. Now of course this can lead to negative incidents, where a student racially abused Fabrice Muamba just moments after he collapsed, however these are few and far between. People have to realise that there are idiots in this world and when you give them a tool to interact with celebrities, they will do stupid things. But back on topic, Twitter is a brilliant tool for fans and players alike. Although some people, and even players in Ashley Cole’s case, will do stupid things on it, it’s generally used in a positive way. Most fans tell players ‘how well they’ve played’ or to ‘wish them luck’ before a game. People who think Twitter is full of people who abuse players or Joey Barton-type characters are wrong, it’s very different.
So how do I think the FA should punish Ashley Cole?
Personally I think a 4 game ban. As I have mentioned I don’t think fines are enough to stop players behaving badly, however I think bans are. If the FA fine Ashley Cole a couple of week’s wages, is anyone really that bothered? If the FA bans Ashley Cole from playing from Chelsea for 4 matches, then it’s not just him that’s affected, Chelsea will be significantly weaker at the back. This could then lead to Chelsea dropping points, which could be vital at the end of the season. If this is the case then surely Di Matteo, and all other managers, will tell players that anything abusive on Twitter is not acceptable. That is why I feel banning is the only way to deter players from behaving in a disruptive manner.
To conclude; should the FA lay down the law and give Ashley a ban that actually has an effect? Yes. Will the FA lay down the law and give him a ban? Probably not.