What Saturday’s papers are saying:
THE SUN: Ashley Cole was forced into a grovelling apology last night after branding the FA a ‘bunch of t..ts’. Also: Adam Johnson has warned England’s stars of the future: Don’t sign for Manchester City; Michael Owen has revealed he employs over 50 people - which means he has more staff than League Two Aldershot.
DAILY MAIL: Chelsea stand accused of lying after an FA commission released the written reasons behind John Terry’s four-match ban for racially insulting Anton Ferdinand. Also: England winger Adam Johnson returns to Manchester City with his new club Sunderland today, with many of his admirers perhaps wondering why he failed to prosper during two and a half years at the Etihad Stadium.
DAILY MIRROR: Ashley Cole is still set to earn his 100th England cap - after apologising for an astonishing Twitter outburst at the FA. Also: Adam Johnson returns to Manchester City today warning young players not to go there; Arsene Wenger has banned handshakes to stop a virus spreading through the Arsenal squad - so players are touching elbows instead.
DAILY EXPRESS: Ashley Cole is still on course to win 100 England caps, despite launching an X-rated attack on the Football Association that could land him a disrepute charge. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson is tipping Robin van Persie to beat his record 37-goal tally for Arsenal last season.
DAILY STAR: Twitter ranter Ashley Cole’s England future looks secure - for now. Also: Adam Johnson has warned England’s brightest young stars to stay away from Manchester City if they want to advance their careers.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Ashley Cole opened a new front in the divisive John Terry-Anton Ferdinand affair yesterday, abusing the Football Association on his Twitter account after he was found to have changed his evidence to support the Chelsea captain’s defence against allegations of racial abuse. Also: Adam Johnson has told young English players to avoid signing for Manchester City despite the financial incentives because their careers will stagnate.
THE TIMES: Ashley Cole remains on course to win his 100th England cap in ten days’ time after an extraordinary day in which the fallout from the John Terry racism case threatened to end another international career. Also: Tomorrow night, Spain will stand transfixed. In the vast bowl of the Nou Camp, football’s two superpowers will stare each other down once more. Barcelona against Real Madrid: two eternal enemies, two competing ideologies, locked in their immortal combat.
THE GUARDIAN: The Football Association disciplinary panel that banned Chelsea’s captain John Terry for racially abusing the Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand found the defence he maintained for a year “improbable, implausible and contrived”, it emerged yesterday. Also: Roberto Mancini believes it is “incredible” that Manchester City are required to play Sunderland in today’s early kick-off after their 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening in the Champions League.
THE INDEPENDENT: Chelsea were left facing serious questions yesterday as the fall-out from the full judgment on John Terry’s Football Association race charge engulfed the club. Also: It is one of the handful of times that Sandro bypasses his Portuguese-speaking representative to answer directly in English when we speak this week. “England is my home,” he beams, from the front room of his house in Essex.