Concerned moralisers have long contended, to little avail, that professional footballers’ poor behaviour on and off the pitch is contributing to a rise in yobbishness among the nation’s youth. The Diary has at last found evidence that these Cassandras may be partly right – but it’s not impressionable teenagers who are being led astray.
For the recent “Soccer Investor’s Football Finance Workshop”, held at the rather grand Carlton Club in St James’s, International Marketing Reports managing director Simon Rines provided a sample copy of his company’s Football Sponsorship & Commerce report, clearly marked “Inspection copy only – retail price &£495”.
However, one delegate was so impressed that he (or she) decided to inspect it at their own leisure. And Mr Rines hasn’t seen the report since.
It seems that, rather than filtering down the age spectrum, sport’s miscreancy may be filtering upwards and, having infected the likes of certain Premiership managers, such behaviour is invading the boardrooms.