Not since the mullets (haircuts) of the 1970s has football faced such a crisis of identity. My short film Dress Up examined the rise of WAG culture due to the high level lifestyle certain wags lead. It also portrayed a footballer who does not fall into the stereotypical nightclub, bed hopping lifestyle.
Yet the world of football continues in the UK to polarise trends of behaviour and morality. If we segment the high profile people who are papped, blogged about and fill the column inches of newspapers and magazines they fall into fashion, football and music. Whilst America (and the UK to some extent) was paralysed by Tiger Woods news conference where he talked of atonement and transgression; we are facing a football melt down which potentially heralds the end of the WAG and will usher in the next level of football focus, homosexuality.
Ashley Cole has been dogged by rumours for years about being gay and now the papers are running a goal scoring tally of women he's allegedly transgressed with. While Cole is at home nursing a fractured ankle and potentially a broken marriage, his Chelsea team mates will be reading at leisure, in between training, the headlines on his liaisons.
One of those who might be reading the papers is fellow player Frank Lampard. Lamps as he is affectionately termed is in a different league and was one of the inspiration for my film's footballer character (Graham Le Saux, Thierry Henry and David James being a few others). He represents the potential for football to embrace dignity and move away from the lad culture those mullets embodied. It is a lads culture that has no room for sexual orientation other than the bedding of multiple wannabe wags.
The only fashionable faces of football have been the Beckhams. Courted by all in the fashion industry brand Beckham has provided an almost homo erotic vision with David Beckham's underwear ads for Giorgio Armani. Yet embracing aspects of femininity, the sarong wearing and the caring father are safely position within the union of marriage. With rugby players recently 'coming out' when will it be okay for football to stop lambasting being gay?