The most popular sport on the planet, football captivates billions of people all over the world. These billions of people follow their favourite players and clubs through thick and thin. They play football themselves, imagining themselves to be in the shoes of their heroes they watch week in and week out. The same players who can’t walk down the street without being mobbed, find themselves on billboards and advertisements all over the world, as companies look to cash in on their hero status, and they do. According to these criminal law firms from Sydney NSW, so long as the player in question has a favourable view in the public eye, they are extremely useful for the heads of marketing of some of the largest companies in the world.
That is, until things turn bad. Cristiano Ronaldo, easily the most marketable footballer there has ever been, was in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons a few months. However, he has denied all wrongdoing and at the moment, his sponsors are happy to back him knowing that he is innocent until proven guilty. There doesn’t seem to be that much evidence against him so for now he is safe.
But what of those footballers who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law? Their sponsors dropped them but did their careers end because of their run in with the law? Let’s take a look at a few below:
The mercurial Frenchman was arrested for assault, and later charged, for jumping into the crowd at a game and Kung Fu kicking one of the spectators. His punishment was community service and a ban of 9 months from playing football. Most in the public and media felt sorry for the player, having been abused all game by opposition fans. Nobody died and being the best player Manchester United had at the time, he was welcomed back into the team with minimum of fuss. He went on to win a few more titles before retiring at 30 and forging a career in entertainment and media.
Less well known for his football rather than his conviction, Ched Evans spent two and a half years in prison for rape before having the conviction overturned in October 2016. Starting his career with Manchester City, the Welsh international went on to join Sheffield United, a team from the second tier of English football at the time. Following his rape conviction, he was released and spent over 2 years away from the professional game.
Having served his sentence, no professional club would sign him, however once his conviction was quashed, he managed to make his way back into the game and signed for Chesterfield in the third tier.
According to Papa Hughes, the most recent high-profile footballer to find himself on the wrong end of the law was Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson who was accused of grooming a minor who was 15 years old. After a lengthy trial he was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2016 and was later released having served half of his sentence. He will be unlikely to find a new club.
A footballer who played professionally in England in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Thomas found himself implicated in a counterfeit currency scam, in which he laundered the money through trainees with his then club Wrexham, a Welsh club. He spent 18 months in jail for the crime and didn’t play professionally again. He has since forged a career in radio and television, doing weekly work for local stations in Manchester.
Although footballers are looked upon as heroes there are many who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.