In the movie Scarface, Al Pacino’s character, Tony Montana, at one point mentions that money leads to power which leads to women. Montana was a fictional character and no modern-day footballer – thankfully. Nevertheless, his character is, in many ways, far more representative than many think. The pursuit of money, power, fame and women has destroyed more than one reputation, family or individual, whether it be in Hollywood, the world of politics or on the field of sport. In the realm of soccer, fame can come quickly and with it, a big paycheck and many admiring fans. Cocaine and guns aside, Montana’s statement about money, power and women seems appropriate when discussing Premier League players. If we wanted to be more accurate, however, it could be said that in modern soccer, money and fame leads to women which leads to bad judgment and scandal.
Recently, the issue of sex scandals in the Premier League has become popular again thanks to the recent antics of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud. The French striker was recently caught in the company of model Celia Kay, FHM and Maxim model, the night before Arsenal played Crystal Palace on February 2nd, 2014. Giroud took to twitter to apologize to his team and wife for the fiasco. While both Kay and Giroud denied anything happened during the three hour hotel room visit, a picture taken by Kay that night shows the Arsenal man walking around in some very form fitting underwear. Whether he cheated or not, Giroud only supports the notion that, at least in the world of soccer, fame and money lead to women which, in turn, leads to bad judgment and scandal. Perhaps Scarface is not available in France?
Of course, Giroud’s scandal is not the first to have graced the ranks of Premier League players. In fact, the Arsenal striker’s story pales in comparison with some of the biggest player sex scandals of the past. From the bizarre to the back-stabbing to British Parliament, here are 5 of the biggest sex scandals involving Premier league players, in no particular order:
5. Dwight Yorke and Mark Bosnich
In today’s world of celebrity fame and fortune, the sex tape has been used as a tool to get one noticed. Nothing is left to the imagination, as seeing is believing. Unfortunately, sometimes there are things you wish you could ‘unsee’. This was the case with Manchester United’s Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa’s Mark Bosnich. In 1998, the two players rigged up a hidden camera in a house to tape themselves with four women. This in itself was enough to create a sensation in the British press, yet there was more. In addition to a number of compromising positions, the film showed the two footballers dressing in womens’ clothing. At one point, Bosnich was filmed being spanked while wearing a skirt. The press would have never got their hands on this story had Yorke destroyed the tape. Instead, he threw it in the trash where it was discovered by a reporter and the rest is history.
The scandal didn’t necessarily ruin either player. Yorke went on to play several more years where the Old Trafford faithful showered him with songs of his sexual exploits and alleged addiction to pornography. Bosnich played for a few more years before cocaine ruined his finances and playing career.
4. John Terry
John Terry is another divisive figure in the EPL; fans either love him or hate him. A scandal involving the ex-girlfriend of former Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge reinforced this. The four-month affair allegedly occurred soon after Bridge and his girlfriend, model Vanessa Perroncel, parted ways in 2009. Terry, married since 2007, pressed the British High Court for a super-injunction in 2010 in order to block any mention of the episode in the press. When the injunction was eventually lifted, the British press wrote on the matter in great detail. Perroncel maintained the affair never happened and at least two papers published apologies to her for writing the story. Whether true or false, a rift developed between Terry and Bridge. Bridge retired from the International team citing his position in the team as ‘untenable.’ Terry was temporarily stripped of the England captaincy as well.
In a live post-match interview between Chelsea and Manchester City, Craig Bellamy was asked about the Wayne Bridge saga and what he thought about John Terry. Bellamy responded by saying that everyone knew what kind of player Terry was off the field, but that on-field he was a great player and leader. Without saying much, Bellamy had said it all concerning the Chelsea captain and his affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend.
3. Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole was ahead of his time. Long before Anthony Weiner was sending provocative pictures of himself to others, Cole had allegedly mastered the art. The Chelsea defender and England International had a well publicized relationship with television personality, singer and model Cheryl Tweedy. They married in 2006 and were separated by 2010. During their marriage there were numerous allegations of infidelity on the part of Ashley. In 2008, a hairdresser claimed she had engaged in extra-marital sex with Cole. Immediately following the 2010 separation, the press began publishing accounts of adultery and lewd behavior. Stories in the Guardian and Sun reported that at least two women, one being model Sonia Wild, had received x-rated photos and rude texts from the Chelsea man. Another model gave an interview claiming she and Cole had been involved soon after the footballer and Cheryl had gone public with their relationship in 2004. In total, five different women have claimed having relations with Cole during his time with Cheryl.
2. Ryan Giggs
A Manchester United legend, Ryan Giggs has collected dozens of trophies and awards and is one of the most successful player in British football history. For many fans, the player was one to admire and look up to; his image was nearly squeaky clean. This changed in May 2011, when accusations of adultery surfaced and his name was mentioned in British parliament in respect to a media gag order. The British High Court had banned the press from publishing Giggs’ name in respect to an alleged affair with model and former Miss Wales Imogen Thomas. Giggs’ anonymity was blown only hours after the gag order when a member of British parliament named him as the individual who had sought the injunction. The alleged affair and attempted cover-up, while damaging, was soon eclipsed by allegations that Giggs had been having an eight year-long affair with his brother’s wife, Natasha. Claims went so far as to include a report in the Mirror that Giggs had supposedly paid for Natasha to have an abortion when she became pregnant with his child. The episode has left a mark on a player who is still held up as an icon of the Premier League
1. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is no stranger to having his name linked to scandals. Before his move from Everton to Manchester United in 2004, the English forward admitted to frequenting massage parlors. He had been recorded on cctv and, on at least one occasion, other men inside a brothel texted friends about Rooney’s attendance, resulting in a crowd of fans outside chanting his name. The press seized upon the story that one of Rooney’s encounters had been with a prostitute who was a grandmother. The England International moved quickly to apologize to his then fiancée, Coleen McLoughlin, saying it was in the past when he was very young and immature.
Fast forward several years and Rooney found himself, yet again, at the center of a scandal. Now, married and with a child on the way, allegations were brought forward by two women who said they had participated in a three-some with the forward. Rooney supposedly paid $1,500 for the encounter. It was further alleged that Rooney had met with one of the prostitutes several times over a two month period, all while his wife was pregnant with their first child. The stress of the situation clearly weighed on Rooney’s mind as his form at Manchester United dipped noticeably.
Sex scandals in soccer, unfortunately, appear all too common. It’s unsurprising given that these players are in the prime of life, have a lot of money and fame, and often little life experience to keep them grounded. While most of these allegations are just that, allegations, fans are left sometimes wondering what the heck a player was thinking to get into such a mess. In the Premier League, first you get the fame and money. Then you get the women. Then you make bad judgments and cause a scandal. On second thought, perhaps Scarface is not the best movie to use in reference to soccer sex scandals. Although it would give a whole new meaning to the line ‘say hello to my little friend’.