Unless you've just woken up from a coma, you'll know all about the recent scandal involving England captain John Terry. It seems no-one can resist getting their two pennies' worth listened to and now it's my turn.
Let's get one thing clear; Terry, who (allegedly) had an affair with England teammate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel, is very much in the wrong and has been extremely stupid. An old adage states that an erect penis has no conscience and this certainly seems to have been the case here, with Terry blatantly disregarding the feelings of his wife, Toni, with whom he has young children, as well as those of Bridge, who was said to be one of his closest friends in football. For doing that he deserves all the reputation-wrecking media coverage he has been getting and has lost the respect forever of millions of football fans and doubtless many players and coaches. In short, he's done a dreadful thing and all the negative press surrounding him at the moment is more than merited.
All the talk since the story sensationally emerged last week has been regarding whether or not Terry will, or should, be allowed to retain his captaincy of the England side. In my eyes, he should. We shouldn't forget exactly what the job of captain of a football club entails. If he were the leader of a girl scout group, he should be sacked like a shot, but he's not; he's the leader of the group of a highly charged, largely macho, largely not particularly clever group of young men. I doubt his England teammates, Bridge obviously aside, particularly care what he's been up to in his private life and certainly won't be corrupted by it. Terry's without doubt very good at being the captain of a football team and for the reasons above, his private life isn't important to this job and he should be allowed to continue to do it.
One thing strikes me as very odd from the whole situation. Almost all those people calling for Terry either to resign from or be stripped of his captaincy have been suggesting alternatives that they'd like to see appointed in his place. Common names cropping up have been Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. Just to clarify, that's the same Wayne Rooney that admitted to visiting prostitutes behind the back of his long time partner Coleen and the same Steven Gerrard who was recently on trail for assault after being filmed beating up a nightclub DJ. Even David Beckham, one of the favourite sons of English football and captain of the national side between 2000 and 2006 made countless headlines in 2004 when strong rumours that the married father of three had slept with his personal assistant Rebecca Loos were published in the world's press, yet he remained skipper and has even been touted for a return to the job as a successor to Terry by some pundits. There's a culture of misbehaviour and debacles among the highly paid football stars of today and if every deplorable indiscretion was punished with sacking half of the Premier League's players would soon be filling out their P45s and filing for redundancy.
Despite the obvious interest of a celebrity sex scandal and perhaps the most debate provoking off-pitch news story in football history, the true victims of Terry's actions should not be forgotten. Those are his wife and his children whose lives have surely been torn apart by the incident. It's emblematic of our society's obsession with celebrity and scandal that the sordid supposed details of Terry's affair are still making front page news, but the story that Toni is to stand by her husband, a courageous act that should gain her the respect of many of the people who have lost respect for Terry.
It also points to a sad state in football when we're more concerned with a Premier League player's private life than the financial plight of a Premier League club, with articles about the worrying financial demise of Portsmouth pushed onto the inside pages as a result of the revelations about Terry.