So, would you be happy to have anybody playing for your football club? Provided he was a “good” player, of course.
By coincidence, some of us here had a discussion a few weeks ago, more or less asking if football fans would accept just about anybody, regardless of reputation or past history, provided he did well for their club. Or even if there was the prospect of him doing well.
We reckoned the majority of fans weren’t really bothered what baggage a player might have. Yes, we accepted there would always be those who object but, offered a 20 goal striker, the majority wouldn’t care who he was or what he’d done.
A criminal record? Serious offences? We surmised the majority weren’t bothered. He was one of their players, in their shirt, for their team. They were only interested in what happened on the pitch.
In a game that many consider morally bankrupt anyway, you had, and probably still have, dodgy owners. Even dodgy managers. A player with previous? They’ll always find some support.
We agreed fans would draw the line at child abusers but as for anything else, they’ll overlook it if he’s playing for their team and, what’s more, he’s a star player.
We reckoned status came into it too. A reserve team player attacks the star, goalscoring striker, busting his jaw and putting him out for ages. Sack him? Why wouldn’t you?
But turn it round. The 20 goal striker, firing your team towards promotion, assaults the reserve team player, busting his jaw. Mmm, perhaps there’s mitigating circumstances and he deserves another chance. Would it work like that?
Sheffield United opened a can of worms with the decision to sign Marlon King. His criminal record - you may describe it as deplorable - of convictions for a string of offences is well documented. So too a conviction for sexual assault. One wonders what women working at the club make of that?
David Weir says King has been signed for football reasons. But what other reasons would there be?
A lot of people are understandably unhappy, Yet there are those who say he’s been punished and so leave it at that. And if he scores tomorrow will the majority cheer? And if he scores again next week will the majority care it’s Marlon King with a dodgy past? United are desperate. Any port in a storm!