There have been some tragic miscarriages of justice in our times, but Adrian Mutu’s fine for cocaine abuse during his Chelsea days hardly ranks up there with the jailing of the Guildford four, except in the Romanian’s own mind. A year into his contract, Mutu was sacked in 2004 after his use of South American nose candy was uncovered by a drugs test. Fifa slapped a seven-month worldwide ban on the striker and ordered him to pay Chelsea £14.65 million for breach of employment contract. At first glance this fine may seem excessive, but the club paid £15 million for him and obviously got no transfer fee after showing him the door.
Adrian Mutu Mutu, whose grasp of reality is slimmer than a hunger-striking supermodel, described the fine as “inhumane” and launched an appeal quicker than he can roll up a twenty-pound note. Hilariously, last week the Court of Arbitration for Sport told him to do one. It declared: “The panel concluded that the appeal brought by the player was to be dismissed and the measure of damages, as awarded by Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber, was to be confirmed. Adrian Mutu must therefore pay 17,173,990 Euros to Chelsea FC.” Credit card? That will do nicely.
Meanwhile, the Blues continue their preparations for the new season with the Community Shield at Wembley this Sunday. Although the traditional curtain-raiser is little more than a glorified friendly, any game against Manchester United is taken seriously by the supporters. Our last meeting in this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw in 2007 before Chelsea displayed their traditional ineptitude in the penalty shoot-out. Apparently, there has been another match between these two sides decided on spot kicks, but I cannot recall it. This is probably down to the therapy that I have been undergoing ever since and my intake of legal stimulants before, during and after the event.