A group of spurned football fans have launched a broadside on former England national football team captain John Terry after he rejected a move to Spartak Moscow for family reasons earlier this week.
British media reported that Terry, 37, had a medical ahead of his proposed two-year deal with the Russian club. However, the central defender took to social media on Wednesday to announce he had declined Spartak’s contract offer.
In the 20 hours since Terry made the announcement, his account erupted with profanity-laden Russian-language comments criticizing his decision.
“Dislike” and “unsubscribe” were a common theme among many of the more polite fans. Others who were barely able to contain their emotions called him a variety of obscene versions of “hypocrite” and said they regretted buying Spartak tickets.
“Should have come here without the family,” wrote one user, echoing dozens of comments accusing Terry of being under the thumb of his wife.
Other fans speculated Terry may have had flashbacks to Chelsea’s 2008 UEFA Champions League final loss to Manchester United at Luzhniki Stadium. There, Terry famously slipped during a crucial penalty kick and hit the post, contributing to the team's loss.
“I’m hurt,” one diplomatic fan wrote. “Good luck," he added.
Other fans played up the British-Russian diplomatic standoff over the March poisoning of a former spy that London accuses Moscow of orchestrating. “He didn’t make it to team Novichok,” one comment said.
Spartak’s ill-wishers joined their English-language fans in applauding Terry’s decision.
Still, others were more sympathetic, saying: “Johnny, I’ll still buy a Spartak uniform and write your name on it” and “Your loss. You would have liked it in Russia.”
Reuters contributed reporting.