… or at least that’s the rumour doing the rounds on the Internet this week. The totally unconfirmed reports suggest this badge kissing football captain cheated on his wife with a 16-year-old, who later fell pregnant. The international vice-captain is said to have sought a court injunction against newspapers wishing to print the story this week.
Following the John Terry – Wayne Bridge – Veronica Peroncell love-triangle, the propensity for footballer’s sex-lives to shock has certainly diminished.
But completely unconfirmed reports that this footballer’s wife has also been having an affair with an unnamed player, believed to be the 26-year-old married English-born left-footed Scottish international midfielder at a mid-ranked Championship club, certainly adds to the spice.
Rant couldn’t possibly comment except to say that if the footballer is seeking a high court injunction this week then he is unlikely to succeed. Terry followed the same path, only to find the Chief Justice no longer amenable to the old privacy arguments. After all if those in the public eye engage in seedy behaviour then why should career protection come first in law?
Terry, who lost the England captaincy, his form and much of his dignity during the Peroncell affair, has never truly recovered from the huge invasion of his private life. The Chelsea defender’s form nosedived during the late winter months and there is a reasonable argument to say England manager Fabio Capello should no longer consider him an obvious pick.
Whether the latest rumour about a high-profile Premier League footballer is true or not the lesson is clear. In World Cup year well-paid international players are under greater scrutiny than ever, with tabloids keen to print every last salacious story they can get hold of. Privacy be damned!
The papers will pay the kiss-and-tell WAGs or mistresses well for the story too. After all Peroncell reportedly received more than £750,000 from Terry in ‘hush money’ simply to keep her tabloid silence. It’s a newspaper-driven charge that the French model later refuted strongly.
It mattered little in the Terry case. The Internet rumour mill and rapid communication tools such as Twitter hardly help celebrities keep a lid on their secrets. This week, high court injunction or not, many thousands of Internet users now have a different opinion of a certain badge kissing footballer than 24 hours ago.
If the rumour is proven of little substance then the damage to the player’s reputation may never recover anyway. Proven true then a rapid transfer out of the country will surprise nobody in the football community.
It’ll hit home financially too. Tiger Woods found to his cost that lucrative endorsements and advertising contracts soon end when a squeeky-clean image is no longer viable.
The player in question this week certainly has a great track record in the dock. He might need it if the Sunday papers are not to be replete with stories of his alleged sexual behaviour and that of his wife.
Should the rumours prove true then the consequences – much as in the Terry case – are far-reaching for player, club and national side alike.