01 September, 2008

Bad Lads Army

Not a good weekend for Newcastle you might say, but a comprehensive drubbing by Arsenal on Saturday evening is possibly the least of their problems. You see, millionaire owner and walking KFC advert Mike Ashley could now face police action after wantonly breaking licensing laws by carrying alcohol onto the Emirates stadium. Unbeknowst to him, the not-exactly-conspicuously-sized chap was caught by TV cameras necking a pint in the stands to presumably drown his returning sorrows. Alcohol is of course on sale at Arsenal, but like all other grounds, fans are not allowed to take drinks back to their seats. Newcastle this morning issued a quite hilarious statement which genuinely reads: “Mike was offered a drink which he thought was non-alcoholic so he took it in good faith.” While we are still awaiting confirmation from the Emirates staff, STT is pretty certain that the club do not sell non-alcoholic beer in plastic pint glasses at the stadium.

Ultimately though, boozing illegally in a stadium is something that everyone does… I myself was even nearly shown the exit at QPR last season for pocketing a couple of ciders at half time to numb the misery of just generally being there…but far worse a crime for Newcastle affiliates must surely orbit around that man Joey Barton, once again. Just weeks after being released from a pillow-biting stay in Strangeways, Barton was given a couple of minutes run out at the Emirates this past weekend, and was predictably met with a tirade of boos. Considering Arsenal fans have never been know to make any noise whatsoever, one can only assume this reaction came from the visiting Toon support. Things got worse though, as his first quasi-touch of the ball resulted in a jarring horror challenge on Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, which floored the Frenchman and clearly wound up the normally-placid Arsenal team. It wasn’t just the challenge that pushed buttons however, but the dead-eyed shit-eating grin he gave Nasri as he dusted himself off.

It seems a strange move even from someone as notoriously idiotic as Kevin Keegan to provoke such a reaction from the public by even naming Barton amongst his substitutes, since this Friday he is due to receive a hefty ban from the FA’s disciplinary committee after admitting to a charge of violent conduct for the Ousmane Dabo attack back in May 2007. Ed Harrison, writer of the official Newcastle United Blog, wrote: “Fans regard Barton as a thug who should have been thrown out of football.” Another fan said: “Barton is a smirking goon who turns my stomach every time I see him with that cocky, bully-boy grin.” And finally, another supporter calling himself Goffy said: “I’ll avoid watching my beloved Toon if that waster wears the shirt.” And Keegan’s take on all this clear outcry, even amongst his own fans? When asked what should be done next, he answered in typically over-dramatic fashion: “Other than putting some gallows up outside, you’re all doing a good job of that without any help from me.”

Without wanting to sound like a broken record, can someone just man up and ban this piece of shit for life? He’s proven himself time and time again to be a remorseless thug, and at the end of the day, is this really the kind of prick we want as a role-model for children? Going to prison would constitute gross professional misconduct in any other industry, and is usually punishable by sacking, so why should footballers be treated any different?


Mosher said...

To answer the last question: because if we sacked him, we'd be out of pocket to the tune of whatever we paid for him. And as soon as he got out, he'd be picked up for free by someone else.

What's needed is a lifetime ban from professional football for people like him, Bowyer, Diouf etc. And a clause in all contracts stating that if a player should receive such a ban, they have to refund some portion of the transfer fee from their own pockets.

Seeing as all they seem to give a shit about these days is their bank balances, maybe this would help.

Oh, and the BBC checked and - no - Arsenal, don't sell non-alcoholic beer. Incidentally, your third photo - where's that from and when? Because if it's since the smoking ban came in then the police should be prosecuting him and the stadium he was in as well...

STT HQ said...

hi mate, thanks for your comments.

it's interesting that you mention players being responsible for refunding their transfer fees because i'm pretty sure that's what is happening to Adrian Mutu at the moment. He supposedly owes Chelsea £13.8million, which is obviously ridiculous, but something along these lines seems to be the way to go

ha, i just dug that third picture out of google but yeah you're right, newcastle could be in more trouble. thing is, i haven't been to a single stadium since the smoking ban where it was actually respected...


Mosher said...

Ah, true - forgot about Mutu. That's been going on for... 2 years now? If such a clause was placed into each contract I do think it'd stop players being just morons in the first place.

Mind, while I agree Mutu was such a muppet how come he's "worse" than, say, ASBO Barton according to the football authorities?

As for the last point, it's one reason I gave up my season ticket. I was sick of it at St James' and the stewards even stuck up for the smokers!

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