Football Scandals

The Biggest Football Scandals

If you’ve been watching the news lately you will know all about the Jonny Evans scandal that has English football’s most famous bully, Sir Alex Ferguson, foaming at the mouth. Reports are that the young Manchester United star was accused of indecent assault following a wild Christmas party attended by a number of Manchester United’s finest.

With Manchester United’s top players in the dog-box, and the media intensely focused on how the scandal will play out, the time has come to take a look of some of the biggest, and strangest, player scandals in football history.

1. The Counterfeit Winger

Mickey ThomasOne of the all-time classic football scandals revolved around the attempts of former Manchester United winger Mickey Thomas to set up a counterfeiting operation as a lucrative sideline to his sparkling football career.Police investigating counterfeiting operations in Manchester were astonished to discover that the former Manchester United player had set up a retirement fund for himself in the form of a printing press which produced 10 pound notes.It turned out that Mickey Thomas was in the business of distributing the products of his press to the young players at his club Wrexham. Thomas was rewarded for his entrepreneurial ambitions with an 18 month stint in jail, followed by a successful stint as a public speaker.

2. The Larry Flint of English Football

A Ukrainian prostitute walks towards a room in a brothel in an appartment in Berlin, 12 September 2007. (AXEL SCHMIDT/Getty Images)It is possible that Mickey Thomas took his lead as a counterfeiter from Arsenal legend Peter Storey. After winning the double for Arsenal and making a number of appearances for the English national team, Peter Storey decided to set up shop as a Mafioso.Storey got his career as a criminal going by bankrolling a brothel in East London. Once business was pumping, Storey turned his attentions to addressing England’s pornography drought by importing premium European porn by the ton.Convinced that his true vocation lay beyond the limited confines of the right back position at Arsenal, Peter Storey hatched a plan to produce counterfeit gold coins and was promptly bust by Scotland yard. Storey became a frequent guest of holding facilities across England in the following decade, before finally deciding to move to France where he could conduct his trade in pornography in peace.

3. The Rooney Supremacy

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 22: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United in action during the Vodacom Challenge match between Orlando Pirates and Manchester United held at the Absa Stadium on July 22, 2008 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)If Jonny Evans was looking for a good party, he need have looked no further than Manchester United team mate Wayne Rooney. In 2004 it was discovered that the young Manchester United star was a regular patron of a venerable Liverpudlian prostitute by the name of ‘Auld Slapper’ who satisfied the young player’s desire for a 48 year old woman dressed up as a cowgirl.This scandal followed on the heels of another unfortunate saga which saw Wayne Rooney bust for patronizing the Manchester prostitution trade and then composing dreadful poetry for his rented lovers. Rooney has apparently cleaned up his act in the past three years, and his girlfriend Colleen McLaughlin will doubtless be pleased that his name was not raised in connection with the events at the 2007 Manchester United Christmas party.

4. The Serie A Scandal

DORTMUND, GERMANY - JULY 27: Pavel Nedved of Juventus Turin gestures during the Pre Season international friendly match between Borussia Dortmund and Juventus Turin in the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund on July 27, 2008 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Thorsten Wagner/Bongarts/Getty Images)The Serie A Scandal that rocked Italian football in 2006 is going to take some beating. Whilst the furor over match fixing at the highest levels of Italian football has died down, questions linger over what really goes on in the halls of Italian football power.To summarise: in 2006 the Italian papers brought to light details of phone conversations between club managers and football associations in which the managers attempted to influence the appointment of referees to matches.Once this plot had been discovered Italian investigators blew the lid off the affair and discovered that referees were being used by all the big Italian clubs to ensure specific results in matches.Remarkably, most of the clubs implicated got off scott free, while Juventus took the fall in the form a relegation to Serie B. Nevertheless the reputations of AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina have been irreparably tarnished and Italian fans can never again be certain that the matches played in Serie A are not scripted in advance.

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