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'They Are Total Scum' (UK Footballers)
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2-13-2005 | Tony Freinberg/Andrew Warshaw

Posted on 02/12/2005 5:33:26 PM PST by blam

'They are total scum'

By Tony Freinberg and Andrew Warshaw
(Filed: 13/02/2005)

Sir Alan Sugar, the former chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, has described the nation's football players as "total scum" and claimed that "most of them would be in prison" if they had not become professional sportsmen.

In an interview in The Telegraph, Sir Alan also claims that footballers have no concept of loyalty or honesty and are interested only in themselves.

Alan Sugar: ‘football players don't know what honesty is’

Although his comments might strike a chord with some members of the public, former Spurs players responded angrily, describing his remarks as "completely unnecessary" and "a joke".

In his interview, Sir Alan, the owner of the electronics company Amstrad, pulls few punches, saying: "[Football players are] scum, total scum. They're bigger scum than journalists, don't you understand? They don't know what honesty or loyalty is. They're the biggest scum that walk on this planet and, if they weren't football players, most of them would be in prison, it's as simple as that.

"Do not believe a word that comes out of their mouths," he continued. "All they're interested in is themselves. And, if something doesn't go right, they'll go behind you and stab you in the back. If you ever had to go into the trenches and you had to rely on people, don't ever rely upon footballers."

A number of footballers have been involved in criminal cases. Lee Hughes, the former West Bromwich Albion forward, is serving six years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving.

In December 2001 Jonathan Woodgate, the England defender, was sentenced to 100 hours' community service after being found guilty of affray during an attack on a student in Leeds in January 2000.

Jermaine Pennant, a 22-year-old Arsenal midfielder who is on loan at Birmingham City, is due to appear in court on March 1 for sentencing after admitting drink driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

A protest at Sir Alan's comments was lodged by Gary Mabbutt, who captained Spurs during Sir Alan's time in charge of the club. He said that his former chairman's comments were unfair.

"It's unnecessary and derogatory and an astonishing statement. Perhaps, when he took over, he didn't realise what he was letting himself for. I think he found it very difficult to run the club like he did Amstrad and obviously he learned very quickly it was totally different.

"People are entitled to their opinions but the bottom line is that it's hard to take these comments seriously. We should see them for what they really are - a laughable tirade that was made about six weeks too early. If this had come out on April 1 then probably you'd have accepted it as a joke."

Mabbutt's views were echoed by Justin Edinburgh, a defender who played more than 250 games for Tottenham during the 1990s.

"Never ever would I have described any footballer as scum," he said.

"There are plenty of players I know who would have been the first people I'd have gone into the trenches with because of their honesty and friendship.

"What reasons has Sugar got for saying this? He was the one, after all, who signed the players and the contracts. Surely he knew the characters of the people he was signing."

A spokesman for Tottenham Hotspur distanced the club from Sir Alan's remarks, saying, "These comments reflect Alan Sugar's personal views and not those of the club. But it is puzzling that he said those things, as he still regularly comes to home matches."

The spokesman added that Sir Alan still owned a 13 per cent stake in the club, although he resigned as chairman in 2001. During his 10 years in charge, Tottenham won only the 1997 League Cup, their worst decade since the Second World War.

Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said that while he was not surprised by the robust nature

of Sir Alan's remarks, they indicated why his teams might not always have performed as successfully as he had wanted. "These pathetic comments say more about Alan Sugar than the people he's talking about. No doubt in the business world people might say similar things about Alan Sugar," he said.

"It's the sort of colourful language he used when he was in the game. With such a view of his players and staff, is it any wonder that he didn't achieve the success that he must have hoped for at Spurs?"

Sir Alan will be releasing more invective in the forthcoming reality television show, The Apprentice, which starts on BBC2 this Wednesday at 9pm.

In the past, the pugnacious Sir Alan has described his decade at Tottenham as "a waste of my time". He also said that he "wouldn't wash my car" with a signed Jürgen Klinsmann Spurs shirt, after the German's controversial departure from White Hart Lane in May 1995.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: are; footballers; scum; they; total; uk

1 posted on 02/12/2005 5:33:29 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

So its like the NBA?

2 posted on 02/12/2005 5:35:06 PM PST by GeronL (--I'm thinking, I'm thinking!)
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To: GeronL

As a recovering Colombian in exile in south FL I have to agree 100% with Sir Alan. So, what's your point?

3 posted on 02/12/2005 5:37:47 PM PST by Calusa (Red States, blue counties.)
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To: Calusa

That our NBA and other sports events are full of thugs too... NASCAR mostly excluded

4 posted on 02/12/2005 5:48:40 PM PST by GeronL (--I'm thinking, I'm thinking!)
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To: GeronL

If I wanted a prayer meeting I'd might consider a NASCAR event. If I went to a Colombian professional soccer event I'd expect to see a bunch of testosterone cases kicking a small leather ball, I don't think I'd be looking for moral values. And by the way try not to choke on the carbon monoxide. Dale.

5 posted on 02/12/2005 5:55:00 PM PST by Calusa (Red States, blue counties.)
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To: GeronL


6 posted on 02/12/2005 6:12:50 PM PST by ocr1
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To: blam
Sir Alan Sugar, the former chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, has described the nation's football players as "total scum"

I' don't understand how the players could be this way when the fans are so polite and we;;-behaved.

7 posted on 02/12/2005 6:30:37 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (On this day was our messiah born.)
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