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Behaviour Of Our Current Footballing 'Superstars'

Tuesday 29th May 2012
Once again, Joey Barton has found himself in hot water with the FA following another crazy outburst on the final day of the season against ManchesterCity.

On the last day of the season he elbowed Carlos Tevez and received a red card for it, on his way off of the pitch he kicked out at Aguero then attempted to head butt Vincent Kompany before generally picking fights with most people on the pitch and finally shouting abuse at one of the QPR coaching staff.  My 7 year old daughter was watching and said “Daddy, is he allowed to do that?”  No, was the answer, he has since been banned for 12 matches by the FA.

We could easily brush it aside amidst the hysteria of what happened later in the day – QPR stayed up and Manchester City won their first title for 44 years – but something drastic needs to change.  Barton's behaviour is not a one-off…not for him and not for others.

Just this season we have had Mario Balotelli ‘entertain' us regularly with stories of his behaviour. We have had Carlos Tevez refuse to leave the bench in Europe, then go missing in Argentina, then hold aloft a “Fergie RIP” poster on the title winning victory parade.  On top of this, in the lower divisions Ched Evans has gone to prison for a sexual offence.

The game of football has a bigger issue.

Mr Barton could have got a maximum ban of 16 matches and no doubt a meaningless fine.  With a 12 match ban he will be ineligible for almost a third of the season and they cannot sack him, and no-one is going to buy a player who cannot kick a ball until Christmas.

During that time, he will still receive full pay (rumoured to be £80,000 per week).  Whilst Tevez went AWOL, he earnt £1 million per month.  Both deserve to be sacked for gross misconduct but players' contracts are water tight.

Name me one other profession that would allow this to happen?  In my place of work if I had behaved like Barton or Tevez would I expect to be welcomed back with open arms having been paid handsomely during my absence? My boss would ask me to make a two word sentence with the second word being OFF.

In fact, name me another profession that creates millionaires at such a young age, whether they are playing first team football or not? And that is part one of the issue.

Today's top flight footballers have, since before they had a need for a shaving razor, been consistently told how great they are.  No-one has said NO to them. No-one puts them right when they do wrong.

Part two of the issue is that they surround themselves with people who do not have their moral interests at heart.  If it isn't working out at their current club, their agent will find them another club (whilst pocketing in the region of 10% of the signing-on fee).  These players have been made bulletproof by the people that surround them.

Something needs to change or we will continue to see this behaviour escalate.

If Joey Barton was a dog and had behaved like that in my local park – the authorities would have had him put down.  I am a QPR fan, he is our captain…..I would personally take time off work to drive him to the Vet!!

Ched Evans had a great career in front of him, until he found someone to say NO to him and we have read about how he reacted. By the time Evans leaves prison, regains his fitness, his goal scoring touch and a club to accommodate him, his career will be over.  In the same division is a player called Jordan Rhodes.  I hope Ched Evans spends his prison sentence tracking the progress this young man makes and realises what the actions of one night have prevented him from enjoying.

We will continue to read about similar cases of behaviour like Tevez, Evans and Barton until we change the following;

  • The way players' contracts are written.

  • The way the players are rewarded.

  • The agents they surround themselves with.

  • The way those agents are rewarded.

Until then we will see the next generation of teenage talent growing up in exactly the same way and behaving the same way.
Danny James
Big Queens Park Rangers fan, all views my own.

Total articles: 3

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