That's right, nobody – or, at least, nobody willing to testify – heard him use the term "f****** black c***", though millions turned to YouTube and saw his lips move to apparently utter those words.
Of course, what YouTube doesn't give you is any sense of context. And that's important here, because Terry doesn't deny using those words. In fact, his defence was that they came as part of a sarcastic denial and, again, since nobody apparently heard this, the court had to make a judgment on whether it was plausible and credible.
You can make up your own mind about whether a professional footballer who grew up in a multiracial environment might suddenly start racially abusing a fellow pro he has known for nearly two decades after some 600 games as a professional in which he did not racially abuse anyone.
But it's worth noting that this is yet another case where nobody wins and where the repercussions of a decontextualised insult are felt far and wide. What would have happened if Terry or Anton Ferdinand had not stepped on the pitch that day? Or if the game – rather than being a horribly officiated slugfest with two red cards – had been controversy-free?
Let's see. Fabio Capello would still be England manager. Rio Ferdinand would have gone to the European Championship. Anton Ferdinand would be spared the abuse he's likely to receive next time he steps on the pitch. Terry, of course, would still be getting barracked by opposition fans – some of it, of course, he brought on himself with indiscretions of a different nature – but at least nobody would accuse him of being the kind of guy who frequents Stormfront.org in his spare time. Terry's legal team, led by the cuddly George Carter-Stephenson, QC – would be £300,000 poorer.
The frustrating thing is that you don't need to be a sharp legal mind to have realised long ago that there was no way that Terry was going to be found guilty. A court of law was never going to be the right setting in which to adjudicate on such a case. Why? Because the threshold of evidence is much higher than in, say, a sporting tribunal, such as the one that handled the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra case.
And because even a guilty verdict would only have cost Terry a maximum fine of £2500. Which is, roughly, what he makes every two hours that he's awake (assuming he sleeps eight hours a night, which is by no means a given). How much do you make every two hours? Would you happily pay that to hurl the worst sort of abuse at someone?
What should have happened here is that the Football Association should have dealt with the issue rather than using the excuse of not wanting to "prejudice" the court case. There is plenty of legal precedent that would have allowed them to do it. Instead, they bottled it. And we're left with the current mess.
These are the types of outcomes that, in a fair world, would lead to heads rolling. But don't hold your breath. Because of the unwillingness to act, two senior professionals' reputations are now tarnished, plus another – Rio Ferdinand – missed out on his final chance at playing for his country in a major tournament.
Not quite what you would expect from those who are supposed to safeguard the game in England.
Last week's release of the Swiss court documents relating to the ISL case indicating that former Fifa president Joao Havelange and his son-in-law (and former Fifa executive committee member) Ricardo Teixeira took millions in bribes prompted a deliciously inane riposte from Sepp Blatter.
The Fifa supremo pointed out that, under Swiss law, bribery for business purposes was not illegal. In fact, the fiscal code treated them as tax-deductible business expenses. The law has since changed and, today, it would be illegal.
"You can't judge the past on the basis of today's standards," Blatter said. Huh? You can and do. All the time. Years ago, folks used to keep slaves and beat their wives. Maybe it wasn't illegal. But it was still wrong. Personally enriching yourself by taking bribes – or "commissions" as Blatter calls them – presents an obvious conflict of interest and is extremely ethically dubious.
Blatter was Fifa general secretary at the time. Maybe he didn't have the power – or courage – to blow the whistle. But that doesn't explain why he kept a lid on matters for years after the verdict. And, besides, shouldn't we demand a higher ethical standard from our leaders?
IT'S all about spin. Milan suggest that selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris St Germain will be a deal worth £133 million. "It would be irresponsible to say 'no' to £133m," says owner Silvio Berlusconi.
What's interesting is how they get to £133m. They do so by adding the transfer fee PSG are willing to pay – £49m – plus the money owed to Ibrahimovic in the remaining two years of his contract (£38m) and that owed to Thiago Silva over the five years left on his deal (£46m).
That's one way to look at it and, in some ways, it makes sense. You might, equally, ask whether it isn't irresponsible to pay someone £19m a season. It's also voodoo economics, because it's not as if the pair will be replaced by free transfers playing for free. Their replacements will cost money and, presumably, they'll want to get paid.
The broader message is that Milan have smelled the way the wind is blowing. Rightly or wrongly, they believe Financial Fair Play is for real. And they can't simply continue to operate at a huge loss, with Berlusconi pumping in cash every year.
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