Paul Lambert defends Wolves fans and dismisses Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez's call for FA action

Wolves boss Paul Lambert has dismissed Rafa Benitez's call for an FA investigation into Wolves fans for songs they directed at Jonjo Shelvey.

pjimage (27) (1)

Benitez said supporters should have more respect and that the FA should look into what was chanted at the Newcastle midfielder.

The Spaniard suggested the FA could 'control' what fans say. Shelvey was banned for five matches and fined £100,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Wolves's Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss in September.

Lambert brushed off Benitez's comments, saying: "Does the FA need to look into what the Wolves fans sang? Not at all. There's nothing in that whatsoever.

"I won't let anybody criticise our support.

"I thought the Wolves fans were brilliant. I never heard any derogatory songs or racism songs or anything.

"I never heard a thing. But I'll sit here and defend the Wolves fans because I didn't hear anything - and that's me being totally honest.

"I come from a part of the world in Glasgow where there's a Celtic/Rangers divide. I don't get caught up in it."

Lambert wasn't in charge when the original incident happened.

But an FA hearing ruled that Shelvey had racially abused Saiss, after evidence was given by Matt Doherty, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Dominic Iorfa.

Lambert added: "Our country never tolerates any sort of racism, it doesn't matter whether it's religion or whatever.

"This was before my time and the FA documented what was said, it was there.

"I don't know the ins and outs of it. But our country never tolerates racism and rightly so.

"I'll stick up for the Wolves fans here.

"I don't know what the lad (Shelvey) was expecting. He's a good footballer. It was a game of football."

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "Paul Lambert defends Wolves fans and dismisses Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez's call for FA action"


Childish tit for tat

Cradley Wolf

Rafa wants to put in a complaint about his own fans especially about when Mclaren and big Sam were in charge about what they sang about them!! Maybe Shelvey shouldn't of played on Saturday if he couldn't take what was being said about him, just shows what a bunch of tossers they are !!

If he didn't like it then maybe he shouldn't of dished it out in the first place.

Wolf in Liverpool

Shelvey could certainly take it though as he made sure he did his talking on the pitch on and totally bossed the midfield and dictated the whole play. He played the pantomime villain well in that he made sure that the abuse he got didn't affect his play and then sarcastically applauded and gestured those who gave him stick.

The ones who can't take it are our hypocritical 'fans' who abused him for 90 minutes who think that two wrongs seem to make a right.

Cradley Wolf

oh dear scouse in scouseland showing your true colours making out you're a wolves supporter only to come on here defending 2 of the biggest scouse racists ever !!!

get a life and go back to supporting whichever of the two scouse teams you really support !!

Mind you I do have a suspicion that you're Bob The Builder Morgan in disguise !!

Cradley Wolf

I'd love to see you call our fans hypocritical to their faces I bet you wouldn't dare cos you and I both know what would happen to you and that aint being hypocritical that's being straight !!

Wolf in Liverpool

Why would i want to support Liverpool or Everton and turn my back on my home town club and the team who i have been a season ticket holder of for many years. Shelvey made a racist comment, but that does not make him a racist as John Terry found out when he was found guilty of making a racist comment but cleared of being a racist. He rightly got banned and has served his suspension, but now we have hypocritcal fans also baying for blood, making racist chants but don't want anything taken against them. If you can't see the hypocrisy in that then you need educating with the rest of the pond-life who making these vile and abusive chants. Although some would argue that you can't educate the uneducated


Wolf,you said in another post that you thought what Shelvey said was, 'hardly the crime of the century'...which tells me how little you think of racism in 'certain contexts!'

Shelvey was charged with 'using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent' it was also said to have been an 'Aggravated Breach' defined in rule E3(2) as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality

Perhaps it is you who needs educating!

Chorley Steve

Liverpool did you hear the abuse Geordies gave us in the corner of the Stan Cullis. We gave as good back & it's part of the banter. Only veelah can't take the stick but that's another story. Benitez should watch more games as a neutral even when waiting on his tables. He'd realise what it's really like. There were no racist chants from part of the ground where I was . & it would be good for sky mics to back it up.

Wolf in Liverpool

Yes i did hear the abuse but their abuse wasn't of a racial nature unlike the vile chants and abuse coming from the pond-life acting as wolves 'supporters' in the south bank. There is a difference between banter and racist abuse which sadly some can't understand.


In what way were the Wolves fans' chants racist?

Jack the Hat.


Ask Sir Bill.



Hat man.

Faagen-Bazs......!!! ----- PetesNuts....

And you have the audacity to call me insane.


Sour grapes from Benitez.

I heard the chanting and it was nothing unusual, no racism, a bit of swearing (of course). The attitude of Shelvey was immaculate. Concentrated on his football and, in my opinion, was the best player on the park. Up to the full time whistle that is. Then he deliberately went to the corner of the ground between the South bank wolves fans and Billy Wright Newcastle fans where he applauded his fans and gesticulated to the Wolves fans. All good fun. But I'm in no way condoning his racial offence up at Newcastle.

Next, the mighty Wigan.

Black Country Wanderer

Totally right too PL

Never heard anything so stupid,there were no racist chants,only booing of the player,what did he expect?

Someone on another thread says he heard racist shouts in the stand he was in,and perhaps he did,its a football game,not condoning it for a second, but we all know there will be bad language and stupid remarks made,always has been, always will be,if you want political correctness I suggest you follow Lawn Tennis or something else along those lines

If Shelvey can dish out the abuse then he can take it,and fair play he did,and played a great game,so quite why the manager feels the need to come out with this is beyond me really

Sir Billy Quiet

Chanting 'Dirty, racist c#n* ' was offensive for Wolves supporters who come to football with their kids and families to enjoy the football not listen to the South Bank being pathetic......

Northern Wolf

Nothing to see here....


Like the other thread, I only heard booing and he deserve it and I have no doubt he expected it and worse.

Raffa, he's an idiot for getting involved but then he was no different when Liverpool boss. I used to love it when Fergy used to wind the numpty up.........

Northern Wolf


Sir Billy Quiet

Ritchie did not hear the 'dirty, racist c@n#' chant from the South Bank?. No matter what club or whose fans it is unacceptable. Some football fans think that match day is an opportunity to behave and chant in a manner that they would not dare to do in front of their own Mothers - they need to grow up they just look and sound pathetic.

Mountain Wolf

Well I'm in the middle of the South Bank and I heard nothing racist. There were some references to him being an ononist but that was about it.

Wolf in Liverpool

I was in the Steve Bull upper and there was clearly racist and abusive chants towards Shelvey and Benitez coming from the south bank, these chants were also picked up by the Sky Sports SFX microphones after i have since watched the game back. When the cameras panned in on a section of Wolves fans they were also clearly abusing Shelvey so much so that they soon cut out to a wider view.

Mountain Wolf

That being the case it will be extremely easy for the authorities to identify and then ban the perpetrators, which is only right and proper.

Wolf in Liverpool

I agree but given Lambert's comments on what happened unfortunately i have no confidence in our club to do that.


So now the scouser's calling Lambert a liar!


Forget it Lambo

Concentrate on the next 2 big games. Wigan and Birmingham

Not Convinced

sharmwolf - spot on , at the end of the day shelvey had the last laugh since n castle went back up the A1 with the 3 points in the bag and now lambo needs to try and achieve the same against wigan and brum

(and now we dont really care if chelsea outplay us in the cup , since however good any other team is in the Uk this season , chelsea are better (speaking for myself anyway )


Racism ... real or perceived .... the national obsession that applies to some people but not to others. Sick of hearing about it all the time.

Farmer Ted

Ha, should have played in the Midland comb in the sixties/seventies. What we used to call each other would make Jonjo's hair curl...but it was left on the pitch, which is where this nonsense should end.

chris h

FT, You were a marketing director, a semi pro member of a band(played with Bert Weedon, once) and played football to a decent non league level. Is (was) there no end to your talents . Mind you got it wrong on the impact of the new stand, without that hanging around our neck and with the money invested wisely in better players we could have been at the same level as the Baggies or Stoke or Burnley or Watford are right now.

Cradley Wolf

chris h spot on with your post, but, what else can you expect

from a brummy wernit like Ted didn't you know he is the know all and end all of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC along with his best pal Wolvereeeen...

They are both I K N (in the know) of everything Wolves and what they say goes without exception !!

Farmer Ted

Cradley, how did the wedding go? Did someone show you how to record the match? Did you shout obscenities at the telly when Newcastle scored? When you said IKN I thought you meant 'In Kings Norton'

Farmer Ted

Chris, wow what a switch, I nearly missed the join. We were a pro band by the way and played with a few others besides old Bert. How you getting on with Royal Scam and Aja? (Rick Ross named Deacon Blue after that Aja song) getting on well with Lenny, I drive him round in the car, praise indeed. Into quite a few of the songs now.

This Shelvey stuff is getting abusive, boring and unnecessary almost as embarrassing as Adele at the Mercuries. Yuk!

Cradley Wolf

Ted the wedding went exceptionally well, i'm surprised at you ted trying to be sarcastic and forgetting to mention your favourite FFP !!! I'm quite capable of recording the match you nerk and for your information I don't shout obscenities at the TV not in front of my good lady !! although I wouldn't be surprised if you did seeing as you seem to watch most games either on the channel 5 highlights show or if the full match is on then on sky sports or BT sports

chris h

FT I really like Aja and especially Deacon Blues plus 6 out of the 7 others, I did wonder if the Deacon Blue band name originated via that song, plus one assumes the Scotland shirt. Not so struck on Royal Scam, but to be fair I haven't played it as much. I obviously like a hook e g the strong ones on Famous Blue Raincoat and Deacon Blues. You never previously mentioned the football career, I take it Tell It is correct re the wind up.

chris h

Sorry FT I didn't read your reply to Sir Bill below.

March Hare

Farmer Ted,

For once I agree with your post, (short and sweet) but right to the point.

Leave things like this on the pitch


Comb, Jonjo's hair and curl is a clever play on words, Ted. If I didn't know better I'd have thought you actually meant it, but a troll like you can't have a sense of humour surely?

Sir Billy Quiet

FT - I played in the Wolverhampton Works league and remember Black players being refused entry to working men's clubs - what's your point?

chris h

Sir Bill, I must have lived a sheltered life in the '60s in Lichfield, same place where Matt Murray was a kid in Leomansley. I find what you say unbelievable even in Enoch Powell's town.

Sir Billy Quiet

Yes, my friend I played alongside a coloured lad that was turned away from Working Men's club bars even though he was allowed to use the changing rooms......

I would have been in my early 20's so circa 1979-1983 - unbelievable but true.

I am ashamed that I tolerated this attitude but racism was open in those days and the 'working' man was the worse.

Farmer Ted

Sir Billy, what's my point? Thought that was self evident. Left on the pitch, certainly not refused entry to any club, White, black or blue, never any racist stuff. I remember we played a West Indian team in the Junior Cup. They had one white player...and guess what his name was? ...White.... that's true!

As a Brummie there was quite a bit of yam yam stuff going on when we crossed the border.

Sir Billy Quiet

FT - I heard plenty of racist abuse directed at coloured players in both the Wolverhampton Works and Sunday Leagues - I also remember the celebrations of our centre forward when he scored, a smile a mile wide as he would run past his abusers! he was a very brave young man facing the threats and abuse of the bullies.

As Cradley wolf say's it was different times and whilst we could laugh at it through television programmes etc we were the lucky ones. Discrimination is evil in all its forms.

In recent times some people have lost sight of how this evil infiltrates into society bringing division and hatred.

The lessons of the past are often forgotten.

Cradley Wolf

S B Q,

I remember that happening a lot in Cradley back in the early 70s especially at a certain working mens club on St Annes Road, but, then again we did have programmes such as Alf Garnett's Till Death Us Do Part and possibly the biggest culprit but a real good laugh Love Thy Neighbour starring Jack Smethurst, Rufus Walker (Patrick Trueman in Eastenders) Nina Baden Semper, Kate Williams and Keith Marsh (I'll Have Half Jacko)

We were used to seeing comical racism back then and as Kenny Everett would say "it was all done in the best possible taste"

Chorley Steve

Yes time s have completely changed from 40 years ago . More so in the last 10 years. For the better.

No Sweat

I despair that you found 'Love Thy Neighbour' to be funny, but the irony of 'Till Death' was obviously lost on you.

Ye Olde South Bank

Let's give Cradley the benefit of the doubt, here. What he (perhaps) didn't make abundantly clear, is that Jack Smethurst's character, Eddie, was the butt of audience humour for possessing such bigoted, irrational ideas, not his black neighbour, Bill. In other words, viewers only laughed AT Eddie's ignorance - NOT with him.

No, Eddie never came out of any story well - nor should he have done. On the contrary, Eddie was regularly humiliated in front of his wife and local community for being so ill-informed and ridiculously stereotypical in his views.

It's interesting that 'Bill' (portrayed by Rudolph Walker, not 'Rufus', Cradley!), often used racial, derogatory terms himself: "snowflake", "paleface" and "honky" being his favourite expressions. Did this make Bill as 'racist' as Eddie? Well, the answer has to be a resounding 'YES' if a logical line of reasoning is to be followed. However, the show, for the large part, didn't address such contradictory behaviour, nor redress the balance. No, unlike Eddie, there was no 'penalty' to be paid by Bill in any episode, as I recall. So much for 'parity' where the scriptwriters were concerned.

Still, that all said, the show is pretty damned embarrassing by today's more lucid, more enlightened standards. It may have had its day and been popular at the time, but it's probably best forgotten for all our sakes. Thank heavens for progress....


Ye Olde, That's an excellent post, and bang on the money.


Rafa , with all due respect ! If Shelvey had shown Romaine respect !!! None of this would have happened , throwing stones in glass houses etc, stop trying to play the victim shut up and leave it

Chorley Steve

Older. That's the trouble & why we are where we are with this. Benitez & Shelvey have NO respect


I'll say this first to get it out of the way: What Jonjo Shelvey said to Romain Saiss was inexcusable racism. Some commentors on here are implying that what he said wasn't really that offensive. In my book, calling someone a smelly beeping arab is one thing, and one thing only. Racist. Football players are very well paid and privileged role models. That privilege needs to be earned. And it should also be able to be taken away. I bring Ched Evans and Lee Hughes into this debate. For entirely different but equally as offensive reasons, I think they've negated their right to be role models due to abusing that privilege also.

But what's going on here is nothing but tit for tat. It's a non-story on a slow news day. Shelvey was always going to get abuse after his behaviour the last time around. Sadly, he was able to take it on the chin and used it to his own advantage.

The sooner this gets filed under slow news day and forgotten about the better. Then we can concentrate on Wigan tomorrow and be done with the whole saga.


The Newcastle boss whoever he is has strange ideas. I was at the match and never heard the chanting he alleged. If anything untoward takes place how on earth can the FA control what the fans shout let alone the Club - he really is off his tree. To also say that Shelvey did not deserve to be punished and said nothing out of place shows a complete disrespect for the FA and Benitez should be punished for it!


Very disappointed in Benitez - Shelvey was found guilty of racism!!! FACT.

The chanting was very limited I thought ( we were at the game) that he had got away very lightly.

Benitez should pipe down unless he is going to comment on eliminating racism!!!


Rafa should have got on his high horse when Shelvey racially abused Saiss, instead of waiting for the FA to do something Rafan should have suspended and fined Shelvey himself! He therefore obviously purts the success of his team before racism.In addition to that he also supports cheating when his striker on Saturday should have had 2 yellows and a straight red. I couldn't see any apology to Wolves or the fans!

Maybe because its football, things rightly or wrongly are said or done on the pitch to gain advantage where possible, fans pick up on it players get the grief!

Live with it Rafa or go and join a whinging members club!



BENITEZ what did he expect if he can give out should be able to take .. same old toon

March Hare

Farmer Ted. Who did you play for in the midland comb ?

I played for two clubs in the 70s just thinking if we met


It's Benitez. Need we say more.

Sir Billy Quiet

It just seems to be acceptable to turn up at a football ground and chant all kinds of anti social abuse. Football needs to do more to change the culture within its grounds.

Try walking into a pub and chanting 'Wan$er, Wan#ker' at the bloke across the room?


But it's okay for Ted to write "WKR" on a perfectly correct post from a poster on the "Didn't get the Breaks" thread and for you to write, "Agreed", is it. Doesn't the hypocrisy of you and Ted make you ashamed?

The troll's coward's charter. I bet you and Ted wouldn't have said it to his face in the pub!

Sir Billy Quiet

Good point well made, I will correct my actions in future.......

Slightly different from chanting on a terrace all the same.........


Both are public forums. At least you've had the decency to acknowledge the mistake.

The silence of the perpetrator is deafening, though. I wonder whether he will be man enough to express similar remorse?

Farmer Ted

Tellit, no remorse here. What I (and I bet a few others) object to is reading a negative summary of a match I'd not long since watched and felt we were unlucky to lose in circumstances the referee should have controlled better. Your points on the match were distorted and you clearly need to adjust your set. With the plethora of posts Put on that thread by you it's laughable you have the cheek to call other posters trolls!

Enjoy the sofa tonight.


No remorse, thought not FT, (that means Furtive Troll, by the way).

By calling a poster a WKR for no other reason than he posted an accurate statement you didn't like, and didn't feel able to challenge in any other way, other than by writing an obscenity or insult, is exactly the behaviour of a cowardly troll.

Before criticising other posters standards, you need to raise your own.

I'll have to deal with your other points in separate stages, as I have posted a full reply already, which has been lost.



What you and other posters don't grasp is that the negativity in a review emanates from the negativity witnessed on the pitch not the other way around. If you think any of my points were distorted, then put your own contrary view points forward, and I'll deal with them. That's what sensible debate is. I don't fear adverse opinion. I would never try to shut down someone with wkr or stfu in a pub, and I wouldn't do it whilst hiding behind a pseudonym on this forum, either. Anyway, you know what you are going to get with my pseudonym.

(To be continued)


(3rd attempt).

Referee. With the football you have played, you know the referee was not to blame for our defeat. His control of the game was better than a lot of games I've seen this season.

We were never going to win that game. We never got through or behind them. The referee excuse is another red herring, just as the cries of "slagging off" and "negativity" are against posters, or worse, deliberately trolling posters to stop argument you don't want to hear.

So the "plethora of posts" was to explain my points in detail, to aid understanding of the opinions expressed. If you still don't understand or want to understand, or don't like them, tough. They are out there and available for dissection.

As for my whereabouts on Saturday, you are miles away from the right track and you still are, but for a different reason, about my whereabouts tonight. It won't be the sofa. So you enjoy the sofa if you want, and your trolling at the same time. I'll be elsewhere.

Ye Olde South Bank

In all honesty, you'd have been better off staying out of it, Paul, even though I daresay many will appreciate your defence of Wolves fans.

The FA dealt with the matter appropriately; Shelvey then received (highly) predictable stick from the South Bank.....and that should have been that. End of story.

Unfortunately, motor-mouth Benitez just had to keep the engine running instead of switching it off....and now PL's getting himself unnecessarily embroiled when a dignified silence would have been the much better option. As Paul said himself, he wasn't here when this incident initially kicked off, up on Tyneside. Perhaps he should have left it at that, especially since our more pressing focus needs to be on avoiding a possible drop to League One.

Let it die a natural death, everyone....even if the Exp & Star are (probably) loving the fans' reactions and will (probably) milk it for all it's worth.

Try our beta site!

We’re getting ready to launch our brand new website for and we’d like to give you a sneak preview.

We’re still applying the finishing touches, so please bear with us if something’s not quite right.

We'd love to hear your thoughts, good or bad, via the simple feedback button that you'll see to the right side of every page.

Try the beta