Is there any such thing as unacceptable behaviour anymore? Or do finance and success take precedence over everything? Should riches and ownership permit you to behave in any way you like, ignoring everyone else’s views?
If you are the best at what you do, say as a footballer but you repeatedly break the laws of the game and/or the laws of the land should you remain in employment and receive even greater reward for doing your job? If you are lucky and rich enough to own an institution such as a football club, does that allow you to do anything you like with it and its staff with impunity? If the answer to this is “no”, then where do you draw the line, who draws it and who polices transgressions by rich and influential people?
Here come some examples, which admittedly go to extremes but the idea is to get you thinking.
Example 1 A Player’s Behaviour
You are a football club owner. You have a world class player on your books who is playing out of his skin. That makes you want to reward his performance by giving him one of the best, highest paid contracts in world football – but he has broken the rules of the game and common decency time and time again. Without him your team would be nowhere. With him, the sky’s the limit. Obviously you want to argue that he has paid his dues and he has changed. At what level of transgression do you balk at rewarding him with the new contract?
If he has repeatedly committed dangerous, over the top tackles?
If he has repeatedly elbowed opponents in the face?
If he has used racial insults?
If he has repeatedly committed assault e.g. by deliberately biting opponents?
If he has left the pitch to commit a Kung-Fu kick on a member of the audience?
If he has committed betting offences?
If he has failed to complete drug tests?
If he has been convicted of drug offences?
If he has committed a hit and run driving offence?
If he has been convicted of drink driving?
If he is a married man who for years has secretly bedded his brother’s wife?
Or has used prostitutes without his wife’s knowledge?
If he has been found guilty of paedophile offences?
Example 2 Owners – Is anything beyond the pile?
An owner has bought a club outright. He made a fortune abroad by running his firm as a personal fiefdom. He may be used to paying 3rd world workers a pittance in countries where the government deals with opposition and rivals by killing them off or throwing them in prison and erase them from the history books. At what point should an English governing body or the government step in and prevent him from behaving like he does in his country of origin and implementing radical and excessive change to satisfy his massive ego? Is it when he is
Replacing a manager’s staff with unqualified friends and family?
Telling the manager to resign or be sacked for having the temerity to say he would like to sign players in the transfer window?
Changing the colour of the club’s kit?
Changing the club badge?
Selling the naming rights of a famous stadium?
Relocating the club to another town?
Erecting statues to pop stars on the club premises?
Changing the name of the club?
Telling the fans they can drop dead?
Insisting the players wear skirts instead of shorts?
Insisting they play in bare feet to build character?
Playing a donkey at centre half. A real one.
Taking his money out of the club and walking away leaving it with massive debts?
Selling it to (another) megalomaniac nutcase?
Are there any limits because right now it doesn’t look like it.