Were an angry Mark Clattenburg to take legal action against Chelsea following the Football Association's brusque dismissal of the club's damaging allegations against him, there would be plenty cheering him on. Not least Anders Frisk, Graham Poll and Tom Henning Ovrebo.
This is not the first time Chelsea have made a wholly unfounded official complaint about a referee - doing it on four separate occasions across seven years is beginning to look like serial behaviour. For some the cry of wolf emanating from Stamford Bridge is no more than the hollow whine of the bad loser.
The FA dismissed Chelsea's claims against Clattenburg with a short, sharp statement yesterday. After examining all the video footage, after speaking to all the players concerned, after taking soundings from all the officials who were wired up to Clattenburg, the governing body decided there was no evidence to support the allegation.
But then, when even the man who was supposed to have been the victim of the verbal abuse - John Obi Mikel - admitted he had not heard a thing, it was never the most robust of cases.
What a week it has been for England's classiest club. Not content with hosting a perpetual job creation scheme for managers, they have been revealed as the kind of institution that would sully the reputation of an individual on the thinnest of evidence, taking the word of a player who doesn't speak good English - Ramires - and who was standing 10 yards away at the alleged moment of indiscretion to suggest that a racially explosive colloquialism was uttered by the referee. And that was the sum of their case.
The Metropolitan Police, sensitive about such issues, chucked out a complaint about the matter with a swiftness bordering on contempt. Now the FA has acted in similar fashion. It might be thought that whoever advised the club that they had something here needs a hasty refresher course on the law's preference for compelling evidence.
Of course, any time a footballer believes he has heard racial abuse, an investigation must follow - and the FA accepted that Ramires acted in good faith. But does yesterday's verdict suggest that the decision to pursue Clattenburg, taken in the heat of defeat, was fuelled by a sense of injustice at what may well have been incorrect decisions made by the man in black in a crucial match?
This same concern arose when Frisk was accused of colluding with Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard in 2005. And when those two ever-reliable witnesses, Ashley Cole and John Terry, claimed to have heard referee Poll say he "wanted to teach Chelsea a lesson" during a game with Spurs in 2007, claims they subsequently withdrew. And when Ovrebo was hounded out of London after failing to award a penalty in the 2009 Champions League semi-final. On each occasion ugly accusations about an official's integrity and character were issued, and then subsequently dropped. On each occasion it signalled the end of a leading referee's career.
And now Clattenburg has suffered in a similar way. He issued a statement yesterday saying he hoped no other referee ever had to go through what he had; his life had been made a misery. And he would be right not to wish such an ordeal on even the most myopic official. Although the charge was officially "using inappropriate language", Chelsea were indicating soon after that the allegations were of a racial nature. At a time of such sensitivity, at a club tainted with issues of racial outburst, as complaints go, this was the nuclear option.
Chelsea's chairman, Bruce Buck, made it known that the club were damned if they did and damned if they didn't over the Clattenburg affair. What if it had been discovered they hadn't acted on a claim of racial abuse by a player? How, in the light of the John Terry affair, would that be seen? Well, true, it would have been embarrassing for them. But how can what has happened since have been any less embarrassing for them?
We will be left to wonder to what extent Chelsea's sense of grievance was driven by anger at Clattenburg over decisions which went Manchester United's way.
It used to be said that the toughest job in the world was acting as Stalin's PR man. Not any more. Pity the poor sap in the corporate relations department at Stamford Bridge obliged to justify the pursuit of Clattenburg.
They ought instead to be offering an unconditional apology to Clattenburg, an admission they should have acted with greater caution over such a serious allegation. But don't hold your breath.