Chelsea captain John TerryThose with reservations about John Terry's credentials as a player and a man may well have licked their lips after the Crown Prosecution Service recommended the Chelsea and England captain be prosecuted for alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand but, despite the FA's strong action against Luis Suarez, the decision to take Terry to court may well spare him a lengthy ban - for now at least.
In case you have been living in a cave (the kind of cave, perhaps, where addressing complete strangers with racially-insensitive epithets is considered 'endearing'), Liverpool's Suarez was handed an eight-match FA ban in light of an independent committee's findings on his conduct towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Discounting the crazed conspiracy theories and sudden collective trolling from all folk Liverpool (including, inexcusably, official channels from normally such an upstanding club), the general consensus from non-racists is that the FA's tough stance is a good thing - and given that the accusations and evidence against English football's pantomime villain appear far stronger, one assumes the notorious stopper would be handed a rugby-style suspension.
Hold your horses, Terry-bashers.
The British justice system is widely regarded as one of the fairer in the world - but also home to some of the most drawn-out, frustrating and lengthy processes this side of getting a tax rebate, and with a pretty low rate of conviction for instances of hearsay.
First up, independent bodies - such as the FA - are at liberty to conduct private hearings and mete out private punishments that may not fulfil all the criteria required to satisfy a magistrate or crown court jury.
The judiciary must see guilt beyond all reasonable doubt; on the occasion when the legal system decides to make a 'statement' - recent examples are the exceptional punishments handed to delinquents in Britain's riots - any such statement can only be through a draconian interpretation of sentencing laws: the proving of guilt cannot be compromised.
Like all good old-boys' clubs for lads of means and consequence, the FA is pretty much at liberty to do as it pleases - if it wants to exclude a member or show someone who's boss with a hefty fine, it can ruddy well do so.
However, this is an instance where it can - if you pardon the pun - do sweet FA until the criminal case is fully resolved: the CPS's announcement finished with the clear directive that no-one do anything "which could prejudice (Terry's) trial".
You don't need a law degree to know that the FA's hands are tied - indeed, its immediate comment was to make no comment.
And, given the nature of criminal proceedings and the danger of being in contempt of court, it could well make no comment until Terry is found guilty or otherwise.
Which, in itself, could take some time.
His case will initially be presented on February 1 at West London Magistrates' Court. It is likely to be adjourned for around 10 weeks - remember, we are dealing with a bloke insulting another bloke, not an assault or grand larceny - which would put Terry in mid-April before he has to give his side of the story.
Terry and Chelsea have some pretty good lawyers - as FIFA found out when they tried to impose a two-year transfer ban on the club - and you can expect that, whether Terry is found guilty or not, it will take several weeks of to-ing and fro-ing before a decision is made, not to mention what promises to be a dazzling array of on-pitch witnesses, character witnesses, legal experts, lip-readers and nightclub bouncers giving their tuppence worth.
Remember, even though the body of evidence may appear greater than that which the FA found grounds to punish Suarez, the courts have to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, a far tougher brief to that which satisfies a sporting federation, particularly when Terry's defence is that he said the alleged grievances but only while denying he had said them.
Even if Terry is successfully prosecuted and found guilty of an offence that is likely to carry a fine and some community service as punishment, he has the right of appeal, which could take the case well into the summer.
In the meantime the FA will, if ED has its legal head on correctly, be unable to do anything with Terry - other than advise Fabio Capello not to select him for England duty. Which could in itself be in contravention of the CPS directive, not to mention at odds with finding men innocent until proven guilty.
The only way the FA would realistically be able to take Terry to task in parallel with court proceedings is if the CPS gave it express permission to do so - unlikely, but possible.
Readers of ED will know it to be a fickle beast, with multiple personalities and violent moodswings within those schizophrenic internal monologues.
This edition of ED is highly-suspicious of the man known as JT - it certainly does not share the increasingly shrill Andre Villas-Boas's view of his "human values and personality" (really Andre, reeeeeally?).
But ED has a sneaky feeling he may well escape censure in football terms - for a while at least.
But, even if he gets off in the courts, the FA is ultimately within its rights to find him guilty on its own evidence. And given its strength compared to the Suarez case, and in the context of the FA suddenly growing a set, it may well do so.
The sadly inevitable resurgence of racism during times of economic strife is somewhat tiresome to ED, who was pleased to see that some actual footy was played last night.
Particularly pleasing was the revelation that Dimitar Berbatov is not completely depressed and still has the joy and gumption to attempt the completely, unforgivably outrageous with his audacious backheeled goal to round off a ruthless 5-0 demolition of Fulham.
Another less-pleasing incident of note was the decision to let Charlie Adam take - and miss - Liverpool's penalty in their goalless draw at Wigan, even though Luis Suarez was on pitch, indeed winning the spot-kick. If you're going to start a player in such circumstances, at least use him properly dammit.
Moving away from football, and back to matters of the law, it is interesting to see that the US authorities finally manned up and locked-up the increasingly out-of-control Floyd Mayweather Junior for one of his many misdemeanours. ED says 'manned up' somewhat pointedly, as it took a female judge and prosecutor to cage the 'Money' - perhaps unsurprisingly, given his latest charge was for beating an ex-partner. Tough guy.