Manchester United stars Giggs and Rooney and God knows who else have become embroiled in sex scandals in recent years despite appearing like nice fellows. Former Spurs star Rohan Ricketts explains why footballers just can't help themselves.
In the wake of the Imogen Thomas superinjunction by Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, many of you will be mystified as to why a young man who’s at the top of his trade and who seems to have a happy relationship with his partner could allow himself to ruin it all for an affair with a Big Brother contestant. Well, I’m sorry to say that it’s not that simple when you are a professional footballer.
When I was first thrust into the limelight at Spurs, I was exposed to a whole different lifestyle: the clubs, restaurants, cars and women. I soon discovered that there’s a sense of entitlement that comes with the money and fame of being a footballer which makes you think you can do anything you like and no one can hurt you.
When I went on tour with one of my former clubs, girls would make their way to the rooms of the players and just knock on the room doors offering pleasures. Some would decline but not everyone has such discipline! I instantly saw how much quick and easy sex goes on. There were nights we went to the strip club and there was loads of money flying around and all the girls were going the extra mile just for the cash.
Even if you don’t want to get involved it’s right in your face. I remember a time when one former England international who was always a good boy woke up in his hotel room to find a girl hiding in his bathroom. She had been brought in by another player. He didn’t do anything with her and went mad at the other player - but a lesser man would have found it hard to resist the temptation.
We went to the strip club and there was loads of money flying around and all the girls were going the extra mile just for the cash.
One night out with a team-mate of mine, he ordered champagne and pointed out to me how the girls would spot where the bottle service was going and would slowly shuffle their fancy shoes in the direction of the table. As players, we would then have a field day as all the leg work which is usually required had already been done.
The girls can be like vultures – they see football as a market and they want the most expensive brands. They equate you to your market value. Players will shag each other’s mistresses all the time as well and some of the girls seemed to get their kicks out of that. One time I was chatting to a girl and she was proud to tell me that she was up in the 30s with football players. She thought that telling me that was cool.
I still see the same faces popping up online with the same aim of meeting a football player: I personally think that the players who are single shouldn’t be under scrutiny, although I feel they should gather some self control and balance. But it’s the married players I feel need to really take a look at their decision-making as its costing them their families and their privacy. Just look at Tiger Woods. What he did is no different to what goes on with so many footballers: going from sim card to sim card as if the FBI was after them, just to keep their secret a secret. It’s become second nature for a lot to lie their way through life, not facing up to their weakness. For some of them it’s an illness.
So many footballer go from sim card to sim card as if the FBI was after them
Some of the wives and girlfriends must think to themselves: "How the hell do I keep my man from straying ?” I will tell you now darling, you can't! So no matter if you get a boob job, new haircut, sexy clothes, none of that will play a factor if he wants to sample a bit of Sandra from Essex. As we all saw with Cheryl Tweedy, being beautiful sometimes isn’t enough.
There was one international player who I used to play with and he was always messing around. I’d go round his place and his girlfriend would complain to me about it. He’d just be sitting there straight-faced with a sense of entitlement that he can do anything he pleases. At the time I would have liked to tell her she should just walk away from him, as she was a very close friend of mine before I had met him, but because my mate was there I had to have his back because that’s what you do. It’s like a code of silence because in football there’s a lot on the line and players don’t want to risk it all by speaking out.
This is a small insight into how the fame can be a gift and curse.
Click here for more articles by Rohan Ricketts
Click here for more Football and Sport stories
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook
Click here to follow Rohan Ricketts on Twitter
Click here to read Rohan's column for Toronto's FAN590