IN THE TWEET OF THE MOMENT
At the time of the Fiver going to press, which is approximately five o'clock somewhere, the European champions and Premier League table-toppers are captained by a man whom the Football Association believes racially abused another player and then conspired to mount an outlandish cover-up to hide the truth, protect his own reputation, such as it is, and as a result compound his victim's pain and, less seriously, selfishly complicate the jobs of successive England managers. The Fiver knows an outrage and a farce when it sees one or t'other, and this is both.
Plain Old John Terry had already been banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by an FA regulatory commission for abusing Anton Ferdinand but today, after a two-week crash course in typing, that panel at last published the full explanation for its findings and only here was it made explicit that the commission found Terry's claim that he had only used the words "effing black cee" to register his disgust at the notion that he would ever use the words "effing black cee" to be part of a defence that was "improbable, implausible and contrived". The panel's 63-page report also casts doubt on the evidence given by POJT's team-mate Ashley Cole and Chelsea club secretary, David Barnard, suggesting that the left-back's story happened to change over time to suit POJT's version of events.
Cole today took to Twitter to fire off his reaction to that suggestion with the same sort of tact with which some people might handle an airgun in a dressing room, blasting: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTW@TS." He later apologised, saying in a less bad-word-filled statement via his solicitor that the tweet had been posted "in the heat of the moment".
Nevertheless, a no doubt coincidental side-effect of Cole's impassioned outburst is that it risks deflecting negative attention away from POJT. Since Cole would probably not wish to be perceived to be cynically manipulating opinion, the Fiver feels it is important to ensure most of the criticism is flung at the brave and loyal leader who, to repeat, has been found to have racially abused another player and then aggravated the offence by trying to brazen his way out of taking responsibility for it, however out of character it may have been. This man is still the captain of the European champions and Premier League table-toppers, a club which professes to have a zero tolerance approach to racism. The Fiver doesn't understand.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We are going to change the name of the club to London Orient … some of the hardcore fans will be grumbling but we have got to do something dramatic" – Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn ever-so-slightly misjudges the mood of the O's faithful. Either that or he considers 99.9% of Orient fans to be "hardcore".
GET A FREE £25 BET WITH BLUE SQUARE
"Someting of an obvious letter, but may I suggest Didier Deschamps repeat his quote of the day from yesterday while looking in the mirror, talking to himself and doing his best AVB impersonation, in response to comments he made about France's Hugo Lloris and Tottenham" – Graham Haslam.
"Fiver readers seem to be disillusioned with Team Ingerland so much at the moment but maybe this will help. This Saturday, England's Homeless Football Teams (male and female) will be in Mexico City kicking off their campaign to bring home the Homeless World Cup. Seeing as Scotland won it last year, England must have every chance to bring the trophy home and put a smile on the depressed faces of your subscribers, of which I am one" – Ben North.
JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES
We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you.
BITS AND BOBS
Chris Coleman insists Aaron Ramsey is no scapegoat, despite stripping him of the Wales captaincy.
As The Supremes once sang, you can't hurry love. Nor, according to Arsene Wenger, can you rush Jack Wilshere back in to first-team action at Arsenal.
Paul Lambert is suing Norwich.
And Norwich are suing Paul Lambert.
STILL WANT MORE?
Footballers have been diving since the days of Jacques Cousteau, writes David Lacey.
Steve McManaman knows what it's like to play in El Clasico, the game so big it can be seen from space. Jacob Steinberg picks his brains. Not in a Braindead kind of way, you'll be glad to know.
But it's not just El Clasico. This weekend Europe serves up a Sunday so super it wears its pants outside its trousers and hangs about near Niagara Falls waiting for someone to fall in.
And George Costanza, an embarrassed teenager and Ezra Pound all rather confusingly feature in this week's Premier League: 10 things to look out for.