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The British disease
In the week of the Leicester City story, it seems the booze, not hooliganism, is one of the big problems facing premiership football now.
Tony Cascarino, 11 Mar 2004
You go away on holiday for 10 days and come back to find the whole footballing world’s gone mad!
I’ve done a few things that have shocked people but dogging…forget the morality of the situation, did Stan Collymore honestly think that somebody wouldn’t tell the newspapers that an ex-professional footballer was trawling car-parks looking for casual sex? What was he going to tell them if he’d struck lucky – “Hello, my name’s John Smith”?
This is a guy who played for Leicester, Liverpool, Bradford City, Nottingham Forest and England and had his face splashed across the front-page of every newspaper after that Ulrika business. And my understanding is that he actually drove to one of these places in a car that had a personalised “SC” number plate on it. You’ve been given a chance to rebuild your career as a BBC Radio Five Live summariser and you go and do something daft like that!
I was just getting my head round that when the Leicester story broke. I speak from personal experience when I say that drink and football mixed together can be a disastrous recipe. You don’t necessarily go out thinking you’re going to have a mad night, but something happens and next thing you know you’re helping police with their enquiries.
I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that I’ve witnessed situations where a player’s met a girl and for a laugh a couple of the lads have got his room-key and hid behind the sofa in anticipation of the deed being done. The player and the girl have no idea they’re there until they start, well, dogging, and two drunken idiots jump out on them. No one ever attacked or sexually assaulted anybody, but it did blur the line between what was a joke and what was upsetting, especially for the girl who mightn’t appreciate or want to be party to that sort of juvenile, barroom humour.
Leicester City say they’re going to appoint a player to speak directly to the Leicester supporters, but I don’t think anything’s going to appease fans who less than a year ago were throwing money into a bucket to pay their wages. You’re looking at that and thinking, “Are these players conscious of the fact that we’ve gone 15 games without a win and in all probability will be relegated? Are they oblivious because they’ve got two or three-year contracts and will still get their 20 grand a week regardless of what division we’re in next season?”