No shock then that earlier today the FA Panel looking at the John Terry/Anton Ferdinand race case found the former England skipper and Chelsea player guilty of racial abuse. What was more perturbing, given the importance of the decision was the fact that it was held in total privacy with the three person panel kept secret from the media and football fans alike.
The Football Association found Terry guilty following a four-day hearing. According to BBC Sport:
"One of the first questions many people will ask is why the Terry ban is so much less than that handed to Luis Suarez of Liverpool last year. We await the written judgement, which will no doubt explain the difference.
"This is a significant day - the end of an 11-month saga, a case that was dragged through the courts. The language, insults and abuse laid bare have made this a really uncomfortable episode for the sport.
"Terry must now live with that stigma, the ignominy of a ban. It's not a career-ending ban, but it will be interesting to see what Chelsea do. Will they suspend him, drop him or back him? The club has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism."
A spokesman for Terry said the player was "disappointed" the FA had reached a "different conclusion" to the "not guilty verdict of a court of law".
In July, the ex-England skipper, 31, was cleared by Westminster Magistrates' Court of racially abusing Ferdinand.
The Terry statement continued: "He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal."
The verdict released by the FA said: "The Football Association charged Mr Terry on Friday 27 July 2012 with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand and which included a reference to colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3  in relation to the Queens Park Rangers FC versus Chelsea FC fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011."
Terry will have 14 days from receiving the written reasons to decide whether to lodge an appeal. The ban and fine will not come into effect until after the centre-half has decided what to do.
A statement from his club added: "Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today's decision by the Football Association regarding John Terry.
"We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time."
Terry admitted using the word "black" and swearing at Ferdinand but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought the Rangers defender had accused him of saying.
GIven that Terry must have seriously thought this might be the outcome in making his decision to quit as an England player it seems unlikely he will appeal. The fine means nothing financially to the multi-millionairre and using the Suarez case as ayardstick a four match ban may be seen by many as a lenient sentence.