Former England international Peter Crouch has revealed that his former teammate and ex-Chelsea star John Terry has often used “disgusting” tactics with match referees.
Crouch said that Terry used to get personal with the referees before matches – by leaving a kind word with them about themselves and even their families – so that the referees later thought twice about booking him even if he committed a straight offence.
“What I saw creeping into the game, during my time, was when the captains would go in before the game and speak to the referee,” Crouch said during the first episode of the football show, Back of the Net.
“To me, they would always be called “ref”. I have grown up with just “ref”. Now it’s like “Mike”, or “James”. They are all called by their first names. It’s all to get them onside.
“I remember Darren Fletcher was good at it. But John Terry was amazing at it. Just getting around the ref. ‘Ah, Mike, you alright? How is the family?’ All this.”
“Unreal. I thought: ‘This is disgusting.’ He was crawling around the ref.”
“And it meant [the referee] would think twice. If he clattered someone in the first minute, he’d get up and say: ‘Sorry, Mike.’ He would then think twice about booking him. It’s little things like that,” Crouch concluded.
Quotes via The Football Faithful.