By Marcus Leach

Former England captain John Terry has been found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, and as such banned for four games and fined £220,000 by the Football Association.

The four day hearing concluded with a guilty verdict, a decision Terry said he was 'disappointed' with, especially given that he was cleared by Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier this year.

"He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal," a statement from Terry's spokesperson said.

The decision, and subsequent fine, brings into question whether or not footballers are treated differently to other employees.

”Football sometimes appears to cocoon itself from the 'real world'," Tom Flanagan, Partner and Head of Employment at national law firm Irwin Mitchell said.

"This is a case of a senior employee allegedly racially abusing an employee of another business at that employee’s place of work in a high profile and public setting.

"He appears to accept that he made the remarks and is putting up a technical defence to the specific criminal charge which he is entitled to do. Whilst the FA's rules and regulations can complicate the situation, the club, as the employer, should still conduct its own investigation and reach its own conclusions about its employee’s conduct as an employee, regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial.

“It would not be unusual for an employee in John Terry’s position to be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. He could also be, disciplined and even dismissed, perhaps for bringing his employer into disrepute, whether or not he was guilty of the criminal charge and even if that case has not yet been heard."

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