The race-row storm currently engulfing English football took an even more sinister turn over the weekend after the Metropolitan Police were forced to investigate a threatening letter sent to Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.
The document, which allegedly contained a death-threat so graphic QPR decided against showing Ferdinand, was sent to Loftus Road in west London last week.
Necessary security arrangements have been taken but The Sun newspaper claim the police have urged the defender to fit a panic alarm at his home and advised close relatives, such as older brother Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United, to take immediate precautionary measures.
"I can confirm that officers are investigating an allegation of malicious communication." A spokesman for Scotland Yard said.
The letter was reportedly delivered to the club by hand on Friday and is another disturbing sub-plot in the investigation into Chelsea captain John Terry's alleged racist abuse of the QPR star. Last week doctored footage of Terry was posted on YouTube, which falsely depicted the current England captain embroiled in a racist mobile phone conversation.
Terry is accused by Ferdinand of racially abusing the 26-year-old during last month's tempestuous west London derby. The 30-year-old Chelsea stalwart, who is currently under investigation by the Football Association and the police, strenuously denies the allegation and claims the whole episode is a case of misunderstanding.
The 30-year-old Stamford Bridge star has been included in Fabio Capello's England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden, but is unlikely to feature in Saturday's game against the World and European champions at Wembley.