Titus Bramble, Nicklas Bendtner, Lee Cattermole and any other individual – famous or not, but suspected of criminal conduct – remain innocent until courts decide otherwise. Nevertheless, Birflatt Boy is alarmed at what a lot of highly paid footballers consider acceptable behaviour …
It’s remarkable to find some people who still expect footballers to be role models.
Very few are, and indeed very few ever have been. The indiscretions of the wealthy and talented as well as the wealthy and not so talented are constantly spread across the pages of websites and tabloids.
Footballers are constantly in the news for non-footballing reasons. Since the current season began, various allegations have been made against the likes of John Terry, Luis Suarez, David De Gea, Ryan Giggs and our very own Titus Bramble and, more recently, Lee Cattermole and Nicklas Bendtner.
These allegations range from the comparatively trivial yet dishonest act of taking a doughnut from Tesco without paying to repulsive racist comments, damaging parked cars and sexual assault.
We would not of course wish to prejudge the outcome of any legal or other investigations which are currently underway; it would be unwise as well as inappropriate to do so.
But without dwelling on any of the above examples, but viewing the offensive and rather abhorrent behaviour of so many modern day footballers, there is an inescapable and rather obvious trend.
Modern footballers, or some of them, seem to think they are entitled to anything, anything at all.
That may be free doughnuts or a pizza, or the partner or wife of a team mate or even your own brother in certain distasteful examples of selfishness. There is an implicit assumption, or assertion even, that “if it’s there, then I can have it. It can be mine”.
Bendtner’s pizzeria exploits have no criminal implications. But if he seems incapable just now of adding to a poor league goals tally, he can’t keep his name out of the papers.
Unfit to play against Blackburn last Sunday, he was fit enough to get plastered in downtown Copenhagen and make a fool of himself by demanding free food in a pizza parlour when he had rather remarkably run out of money.
He now finds himself charged with criminal damage a matter of days later in Newcastle, but that is territory that we should prudently avoid.
They say money is the root of all evil. Many footballers are awash with it. And too many seem no longer to be satisfied with a more than comfortable income and lifestyle, with those things in life that most of us can only dream of so easily affordable at a ridiculously early age.
In short, many of them are spoilt, unappreciative young men with little education, lacking in any sense of moral propriety or respect for other people. The sense of entitlement extends beyond monetary matters, to the point where nothing has any value, in pecuniary terms or otherwise.
A simple snack has no value, the property of other people has no value, nor necessarily do relationships. They can afford virtually anything they want, to the point where all value is lost.
Whatever truth emerges from the recent spate of events and allegations, we appear to have a national game besmirched by an absurd notion of entitlement on the part of some of those who play it.