Thursday, January 29, 2009

Money makes you a better person


You've heard it all about the abysmal behaviour of dole scroungers. Why not look at our wealthy football players for examples of righteousness and good conduct?

2008 was the year the Sun, the Express and the Daily Mail all held an unprecedented barrage of criticism against the country's "underclass". Feral beasts, dole scum, welfare addicts. "Welcome to Britain, land of the rising scum...", and that's just Richard Littlejohn in the Mail. If you live in one of Britain's deprived council estates, the tabloids' theory goes, you're going to become a scumbag. A drug addict, a joyrider, maybe a rapist, possibly a child murderer too.

Money changes your behaviour, doesn't it? Presumably then, the more dosh you make, the more flawless a young man you become. For evidence, we decided to take a peek at some of the wealthiest young men in the country, Premier League football players. Their credentials are impeccable, almost a Thatcherite wet dream: these are self-made young gentlemen who, thanks to their skills and abilities, joined the ranks of Britain's millionaires and earned the respect of legions of admirers. They're not sponging, they're not asking the state for help, and they're making such a massive amount of money that nowadays most boys' dream is to become a Premiership footballer and most girls' to be a WAG and long live feminism.

Statistics say that in 2007, the average Premiership footballer earned over £1m a month, the equivalent of £200,000 a week. Most Britons could dream of making that in a whole decade.

What follows is that the sheer load of incidents, "infidelity issues" and anti-social mishaps that are plaguing footballers outside the pitch must be either proper bastard bad luck or a big conspiracy of the envious plebs. Because the ratio of professional players having a brush with the law is truly staggering yet only a loonie leftie would relate it to wealth-induced power trips.

Look at it. Three days ago Man City star Robinho, the man who cost £32.5m in the summer so that he could kick balls into a net, was "arrested over ‘rape in nightclub’ claims". Only weeks before, World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo's rebellious £200,000 Ferrari crashed into a wall. Shit happens, doesn't it?

Except it wasn't the first time. Last year, another one of Ronaldo's cars (he has a fleet of luxury motors said to be worth more than £2million), a precious Audi R8 decided to spin 180 degrees on his way home. Also, few remember when some ungrateful money-hungry bitches grassed him up to the police for "carrying out an assault in the penthouse suite of a luxury West End hotel" in 2005. Cristiano denied it all, claiming he was being "stitched up", showing a fine display of linguistic skills as well.

For the record, Ronaldo's namesake, the Brazilian Luis Ronaldo, formerly of Real Madrid and AC Milan, was also arrested in 2007 after an altercation with transvestites at a Rio de Janeiro motel.

Back to dangerous driving, last year a 25-year-old Plymouth footballer turned into a child killer as two young boys became victims of his reckless driving. In 2005, former wonderkid Jermaine Pennant was jailed for three months. He "crashed his top of the range Mercedes into a lamppost while more than twice the legal limit, then drove off with the post dragging underneath the car". He admitted drink driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. The one who got the worst deal though was former West Brom's Lee Hughes, who served three years for causing death by dangerous driving. He then fled the scene to avoid a breath test.

But it's not just their driving skills under scrutiny. Do you remember the infamous 2007 Christmas party that got the entire Manchester United squad in the papers? The players' WAGS had been banned. But to avoid accusations of sexism, the players invited over one hundred women. "Booze, fights, sleaze and a rape", wrote the Daily Mail, while the Mirror joked that the 'Red Devils' "lived up to their nickname as they knocked back booze and snogged girls at a riotous Christmas party". One of them, Wayne Rooney, was so honest that he'd already admitted visiting "massage parlours and prostitutes". "I was young and stupid", he said. As far as youth and stupidity goes, he's in good company. Allegations of sexual assaults amongst football players are as 'common' as sovereign rings in an Argos catalogue. In 2003, Leeds Utd's Jody Morris was charged with rape, while last year Andy Cole was arrested after an alleged assault on his wife.

And then there's the brawls. The general public just can't leave those young men alone. Last month, Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard spent a whole night in jail following an assault at a nightclub in Southport. In 2000, Leeds Utd's Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate were sentenced following a street attack on an Asian student. In 2006, Rio Ferdinand's brother, West Ham Utd's Anton was arrested in a nightclub attack. More recently, Newcastle's Joey Barton was jailed for six months after admitting assault and affray outside a McDonald's. And let's not get started on Gazza Gascoigne.

This is only a tiny fraction of the big conspiracy against our football players. No doubt it's mostly a case of greedy members of the general public trying to sell their stories to tabloids. Because if you google the words "footballer car crash", "footballer arrested", "footballer rape charges", "footballer assault", your computer crashes under the sheer load of results.

8 comments:

Nick said...

Time for an ill-informed rant.

I think that footballers are a bunch of overpaid little goits who, if there was NO football, wouldn't have the brains to carry a hod full of bricks while chewing gum and breathing without getting confused.

The salaries these guys are on are ludicrous in the extreme.

How on EARTH can anybody justify paying someone upwards of £50,000 a week? And then there's goal and match bonuses on top...

This of course generates the problem of these ameoba in human form thinking that money=power and they reveal their true colours with racist attacks, sexual assaults, drug use, gambling, drinking and fighting. They think they can buy their way out of any situation and show a contempt for the law that is stunning.

I seriously think that they should all have their wages SEVERELY capped, to say £50,000 a year. That'd soon sort out those who play the game becuase they love it and those that are in it because of the money.

Of course, money is the big problem with clubs floated on the stock market and having to answer to shareholders. Because of this they need to retain players of a caliber to draw fans and get tickets sales etc etc.

I can't help but wonder... how did they manage pre-1980?

thepatriot said...

While it can be argued that nursing/teaching are more worthwhile professions everybody deserves to earn what someone will pay them. There are relatively few people with the talent/ability to become professional footballers and teams are willing to pay for the best. With the top teams this money will be made back through ticket sales, prize money and merchandising. It annoys me when salary caps are talked about; how would you like it if someone told you there was a maximum you could earn in your profession?

Having said this I do think nurses in particular are underpaid. Salaries in teaching and nursing will not increase unless these sectors become massively understaffed. Though I know teachers now receive a "golden handshake" to try and tempt them into the profession.

Morally it could be argued that footballers are simply kicking a ball around while teachers and nursing staff are providing an education and saving peoples lives. But it can be argued that footballers entertain thousands of people on a weekly basis. If footballers shouldn't be paid this much should film stars and pop stars be paid millions?

claude said...

Patriot,
you find that, in proportion, popstars and actors aren't as well-paid as football players.
Any 19-year-old Premier League reserve now routinely earns the amounts of a successful veteran rockstar.

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