What do you think the car on the left cost? Do you even know what it is? It’s difficult without being told although some of you nerdy car types out there might have got it. It’s a Bentley and it cost £264,000. Let me say that again - £264,000!
Joey Barton, not one of my favourite footballers, was interviewed last week and called footballers knobs. Sorry about that but he did say it. He said that these incredibly high earners couldn’t do anything without their agents. They couldn’t open or even work a bank account without their agent doing it for them. They had no idea how to fix insurance or get an internet connection. They needed their agent to pay their bills and do the most mundane things we all take for granted. It’s laughable but of course, it’s not just footballers who are knobs when it comes to being totally dependent on their agents, although they seem to come to the attention of the press more often.
A south-American footballer (Brazilian I think) joined Arsenal a few years ago. As is normal, the guy was put up in a fancy rented apartment and everything was fine until some of his teammates went round to his pad. It was summer and they couldn’t believe how hot his house was. When they questioned him it transpired that he’d no idea where his central heating switch was or even how to operate it. It had been set to maximum when he’d arrived in the winter and he’d never touched it. Coming from Brazil he thought the house was fine – not too hot at all! He blamed his agent for the problem for not showing him how the central heating worked which is a bit of a laugh given the said agent was sunning it back in Brazil!
And then there is a friend, John, who is an accountant to film and TV stars and one of them, a really well-known TV actor loved by women of all ages, went off to try and crack the US market a few years ago and he rented a house in LA for the duration of his stay there. After a few months his electricity was cut off and he phoned John to complain and to work out why this terrible thing had happened to him. After a few questions John managed to establish that the actor had simply ignored the bills dropping through the letterbox and when John advised him to pay them asap, he almost panicked, said he’d have no idea where to start and could John fix it all from London.
Now back to the Bentley and footballer’s agents. Yup – you guessed it. The car belongs to a footballer and this particular footballer has form when it comes to ruining nice cars. The footballer who did the dastardly deed is called Stephen Ireland and he plays for Manchester City. Why didn’t his agent stop him? Why didn’t his agent tell him that if he wanted to buy a prestige car costing over £250,000 and turn it into a pimpmobile, there were cheaper, more suitable vehicles for sale, particularly at the local auction site! Of course, Ireland is the guy who turned up for training a couple of years ago in a brand spanking new black, Range Rover Vogue. And what did he do to it? He put pink stripes down the side and painted his alloy wheels pink. What a wazzock. And the worst thing was that despite being ridiculed by his mates and the press, he kept the car for about two years! But he’s obviously gone and done it again!
So, any footballer’s agents reading this - you get between 10% and 20% of their enormous wages for not doing very much. The very least you can do is to stop them absolutely ruining their cars. I bet Bentley (or Volkswagen as they are now) are absolutely appalled.