Former Manchester United and Tottenham striker Garth Crooks turned BBC sports pundit claimed Terry will now be under examination from the Football Association, despite his criminal acquittal.
He said: ‘He’s still under investigation by the FA based on what he’s admitted — saying those words. I’m afraid for John Terry this is only half-time. This is not over.
Serious questions remain over why the case was brought to trial when alleged victim Anton Ferdinand did not initially appear to support the investigation.
It was only when an off-duty police officer complained to Scotland Yard two days after the incident that inquiries began.
Prosecutors later chose to bring charges despite inconclusive statements from the QPR player.
The Crown Prosecution Service said the acquittal was ‘justice being done’ and insisted there was enough evidence to bring the case to trial.
But one legal source said: ‘It was a high-profile case and no one wants to be the person who signs off a decision to drop it or dispose of it in another way. You could say letting it run to court is the path of least resistance.
‘But it is also the most expensive and a verdict like this leaves no winners.’
Cheers greeted the verdict at the end of a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Chelsea fans popped bottles of champagne outside as Terry’s family and friends celebrated and hugged each other in the public gallery.
The multi-millionaire defender was prosecuted over an ugly clash that lasted fewer than 35 seconds in a match last October watched by more than two million fans on television.
He admitted calling him a ‘f****** black c***’ and a ‘f****** k***head’ as they squared up on the pitch.
But the 31-year-old claimed he was simply repeating the words after being falsely accused of saying them. As the pair traded insults, he claims to have heard Ferdinand say: ‘Calling me a black c***?’, and to have replied: ‘A black c***? You f****** k***head.’
The players met in the Chelsea changing room after the match and shook hands, writing it all off as ‘handbags’ and on-pitch ‘banter’.
Even when he was shown footage of the incident on YouTube, Ferdinand did nothing.
But an off-duty police officer watching on TV, who claimed to be able to lip read, complained to the Met that a racially-aggravated offence had taken place.
In the weeks that followed Terry was stripped of the England captaincy and lost a fortune in sponsorship deals. England manager Fabio Capello resigned in a row over the move.
Yesterday chief magistrate Howard Riddle, who is also a district judge, said there was not enough evidence to prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Terry was guilty.
He said TV footage did not show the complete exchange, meaning it was impossible to be sure exactly what was said. ‘In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty,’ he said.
Even if he had been convicted, Terry would have faced a fine of just £2,500, a fraction of his reported £130,000 weekly wage.
But taxpayers will pick up a bill of up to £500,000 for the prosecution.
Prosecution fees, judicial salaries, court running costs and the complex police inquiry could easily add up to £250,000.
And the figure could even double if the judge awards costs to the Chelsea footballer’s gold-plated legal team.
Legal experts often claim that every minute of a high-profile court case costs £100 – excluding the inflated salaries of the barristers.
This would mean the week-long hearing alone cost some £150,000. Scotland Yard declined to say how much it cost to put together a case file on the confrontation.
But a team of detectives worked around the clock getting statements from players, compiling footage and instructing experts, including a lip reader.
Lawyer Graham Sheer, who also acts as a spokesman for Terry’s team-mate Ashley Cole, said: ‘They should have thought more carefully about this prosecution. As I understand it, Anton didn’t even complain, it was almost a manufactured complaint.’
Ferdinand’s parents left court looking shell-shocked. Terry refused to comment as he was whisked away minutes later.
Alison Saunders, London’s chief crown prosecutor, defended the decision to bring the case to court and said the verdict was ‘justice being done’. She added: ‘It was our view that this was not “banter” on the football pitch and that the allegation should be judged by a court.’
'IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW WHAT WAS SAID': CHIEF MAGISTRATE SAYS THERE WAS TOO MUCH DOUBT TO CONVICT FOOTBALLER OF RACIAL ABUSE
'The prosecution has presented a strong case. There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words 'f****** black c***' at Anton Ferdinand.
'When he did so he was angry. Mr Ferdinand says that he did not precipitate this comment by himself accusing Mr Terry of calling him a black c***.
'Even with all the help the court has received from television footage, expert lip readers, witnesses and indeed counsel, it is impossible to be sure exactly what were the words spoken by Mr Terry at the relevant time.
'It is impossible to be sure exactly what was said to him at the relevant time by Mr Ferdinand. It is not only that all of this happened in a matter of seconds.
'For a small part of the relevant time, the camera's view of Mr Terry was obstructed. We do not have a clear camera view of Mr Ferdinand, sufficient to pick up exactly what he said.
'No matter how serious the incident looks now, and how crucial the exact wording is now, at the time it was secondary to the key witnesses. They are professional footballers in the final minutes of a game where the result mattered to them both.
'They would naturally concentrate on the game more than on exactly what had been said to them or by them. I have assessed John Terry as a credible witness.
'Weighing all the evidence together, I think it is highly unlikely that Mr Ferdinand accused Mr Terry on the pitch of calling him a black c***.
'However I accept that it is possible that Mr Terry believed at the time, and believes now, that such an accusation was made. The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr Ferdinand at this point is not strong.
'In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.'
Edited version. For the full transcript, click here. Warning strong language