Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pat Nevin Apologises To Cesc Fàbregas For Incorrect Remark

Pat Nevin has publicly apologised to Cesc Fàbregas for a suggestion that the Spanish midfielder was the unnamed Chelsea player who said he would “rather lose than win” for the former manager José Mourinho.

The original suggestion that an unnamed senior player had used the phrase in relation to Mourinho as the side struggled to escape its recent slump was made by the BBC presenter Garry Richardson on his Sportsweek radio show in November.
Pat Nevin Apologises To Cesc Fàbregas For Incorrect Remark
Cesc Fàbregas
When Richardson then revisited the comment in the presence of the former Chelsea winger Nevin during Radio 4’s Today programme last week, the Scot replied: “Yeah, that was Cesc Fàbregas, wasn’t it?”

A spokesman for the Spaniard was quick to insist the allegation was “not true” and on Monday the Daily Mail reported that Fàbregas was taking legal action against Nevin.

On Tuesday Nevin used his column on the Chelsea website to apologise, saying: “At the risk of being self-indulgent I would like to clarify a story that emerged, not for my sake but for Cesc Fàbregas who was unfairly targeted.

“During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme I asked, in passing while talking about some other recent happenings at the club, if the player who said the phrase six weeks ago: ‘I would rather lose than play for José,’ had been outed in the press as Cesc? I absolutely wasn’t having a go at Cesc, but asking the question, as the reporter I was talking to was the one who originally broke that story. Basically I thought that this had been the press line in the following days back then.”

Nevin continued: “Cesc denied it all at the time of course (honestly as it turns out!) and odd though it may sound I couldn’t have cared less anyway. The reason I wasn’t that bothered was because the BBC reporter (a man I like and admire I may add) had made it perfectly clear that it was something said in the heat of the moment, in a fit of anger and it certainly did not mean that player wasn’t going to try for the team really.

“When a story appeared in one of the newspapers this Saturday it was reported as if I was deliberately outing Cesc. Now whether it was mischievous on the newspaper’s part for deliberately misunderstanding me or whether I was not clear enough in what I was saying and the fault was thus partially mine, it doesn’t matter (I accept my accent, diction and even clarity of meaning aren’t always picked up perfectly, especially by some southern ears). In short, I did not mean to have a go at Cesc in any way at all; I was merely asking a question.

“At this point I then decided to get all CSI about it and called the original Radio 4 reporter and he obligingly told me that whatever was said or intimated in the press six weeks ago after his story was first aired, it definitively was NOT Cesc Fàbregas who was the culprit! So, deep breath, when Cesc got a negative reaction as he was substituted on Saturday, if any of that was anything to do with what I was reported to have said, first I am sorry to Cesc, I absolutely didn’t mean that at all, it was misconstrued, but none the less I apologise.

“Secondly, I plead with the fans they adapt that reaction for the upcoming games. Cesc has released a number of statements of late that have been brave, honest and self-deprecating. He has been badly wronged and he didn’t deserve that on Saturday, full stop. I hope that is crystal clear.”

Fàbregas had denied allegations by the Secret Footballer last month he had led a dressing-room revolt against Mourinho when he said on Twitter: “I would like to clarify that contrary to a few reports from some websites, I am extremely happy at Chelsea and have an excellent relationship with the manager.

“There may be certain individuals from the outside trying to destabilise this club but I strongly believe that we will bounce back and come good again.”

The Secret Footballer later issued an apology, saying: “Our information on this was incorrect. Cesc Fàbregas was not organising a dressing-room revolt and has an excellent relationship with the manager. He is very happy at Chelsea. We regret our error and have apologised to Cesc Fàbregas.”

Fàbregas was booed by some Chelsea fans in the win over Sunderland at the weekend, the first game since Mourinho’s sacking last week.

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