Monday, 22 February 2010

Thought for the week - football focus

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.

images: The Daily Mail

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?


  1. I have four children who all play football and a husband who runs two junior teams. One day my life will not be dominated by th enot so beautiful game. Interesting post thought - it worries me that a a lot of young girls only aspire ot beocme a WAG.
    It's al ife I wouldn't wish on anyone. Two of my friends are divorced from former premier league footballers and knowing what I do now I wouldn't swap my life for their previus lives for anything.

  2. Blimey, that is a post that gives food for thought! I am not sure of Lampards morals though, we don't know why he and Ellen Rives split, I don't think any of them can keep "it" in their trousers and all the time these "Wag Wannabes" are attracted to footballers, either for their wages, or for what they can get from a National Newspaper for selling their stories, I just think this whole situation is going to get worse. I find that picture of Lampard very attractive though! Great Post Kate. x

  3. Hi there-a very interesting and thought provoking post, I feel a lot of people are really tiring of the wag and lifestyle images football is portraying and its long overdue a change in a different and hopefully morally better direction.

  4. Great post, it worries me as a mother of two boys the influence these role models have. I have to agree with ab fab, Frank Lampard was less than dutiful, in his treatment of the lovely Ellen Rives. I have mixed with a few of them over the years and expect for the odd one, they are basically yobs, with a talent. Most of them would not be able to hold your attention for long, should it not be for the fame and fortune.
    I have also heard the rumours about A Cole and his sexuality, surely it would have been so much better just for him to be proud of who he is. Instead of the PR genius's pairing him up with a Geordie thug who had just beaten up a black toilet attendant. His wife has certainly been the success in this pairing, sorry ranting now LOL
    Once again great post Kate xx

  5. Oh we are talking about soccer! I love the Beckhams! Especially those ads!


  6. I watched one season of Footballer's Wives. Is that really the kind of drama that the WAGs are up to or is that just for TV?

  7. Interesting post, I was reading an article recently about a WAG and how awful her life has ended up. She pretty much admitted that in exchange for the 'glam' life she has to put up with basically being treated as an accessory. The thing is though, the players are treated like gods with their insane paychecks and adoring fans, so they pretty much think they can act like that. Of course these are the bad apples you hear about, I am sure they arent all like that! But they are role models whether they want to be or not and need to take responcibility for their actions. Time they got some balls ;-)

  8. Football is not the beautiful game it used to be - D's cousin was married to one and is now divorced. They really don't know how to keep it in their pants!

  9. Why is it that just because someone is a celebrity, the general public assumes they have a right to know what in essence is nobody's business?


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