Marlon King doesn’t deserve another chance

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Marlon King

Today’s footballers are the beneficiaries of inordinate salaries, they enjoy lavish lifestyles along with a life of fame.

They are worshiped by children; young men live their lives vicariously through these stars while the older members of society condemn the large wage packets of these elite athletes.

The emergence of Rupert Murdoch and Sky Sports changed the face of football in England. Money was pumped into the Premier League with footballers now commanding significantly higher wages then the legends of the past.

Most fans will not begrudge their idols an outrageous fortune for producing memorising football and creating many great memories. However one has to wonder about the detrimental effect the fame and fortune is having on the psyche of players.

Increasingly over the last couple of years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of footballers overstepping the mark and crossing the wrong side of the law. They flaunt their cash with arrogance and are willing to show off their aggressive alter egos with the slightest hint of disrespect shown towards them.

Largely these incidents of violence tend to be a rare occurrence with the offenders learning from their mistakes and staying clear of the ever-glaring spotlight.

Marlon King is an exception.

Last week the former Watford striker was found guilty of sexually assaulting and punching a 20-year-old student in a nightclub in London. The victim described the impact of King’s punches like being “hit in the face with a brick.”

The £35,000-a-week star was convicted of assault and sentenced to 18 months in jail. Within an hour, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan announced that the club had sacked their disgraced forward.

The victim, Emily Carr, called for King to be banned from football for life.

Everyone makes mistakes. The modern day footballer is put on a pedestal and it is inevitable that with the adulation these players receive their egos will be cultivated and caressed leading to some making misguided choices in life outside of the football ground.

However King has a list of convictions to his name. Thirteen to be precise.

These range from drink driving crimes, assault, dishonesty, motor offences and violence towards a female. Previous to his recent court appearance, King was fined for spitting at a woman for “no apparent reason” in 2005.

In 2002, he served nine months jail time for receiving a stolen BMW Cabriolet.

Yesterday the Professional Footballer’s Association chief executive, Gordon Taylor, stated that the PFA would support King and he hopes to see the 29-year-old make a successful return to football.

However King does not deserve another chance in football. How much longer will such thugs be tolerated in our game?

The player’s agent, Tony Finnegan, announced that King would seek another Premier League club when he completes his sentence. In court, King’s defence lamented the loss of earning (£1 million) that will result from his time behind bars. On the other hand the victim has been left permanently disfigured.

Finnegan added: “I don’t want to name names but there are lots of players in this country who have fallen short of the law, done the crime, done the time, come out, and I’m sure if you’re sitting in a six by six you do have time to reflect on the change you make as a person in your life.”

Yet Mr Finnegan seems to have forgotten his client’s previous criminal history. King’s previous run-ins with the law show his behaviour to have been someway short of angelic.

Ms. Carr stated in an interview with the News of the World that King had “no place on the football pitch” citing that she believed everyone deserved a second chance but King had already had 13.

Former Arsenal ace, Alan Smith bemoaned the mind boggling wages that King received despite, as Smith puts it, being of “average ability”.

One would like to think no football chairman would want a re-offending criminal on their books but invariably a club desperate for a striker will sign up the Jamaican international once he serves his time.

It is a shame that time and resources were wasted on man who let fame go to his head.


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Rotterdam Open
The Sport Review
Rotterdam 2018: Roger Federer back on top of the world, ‘That’s what I came for’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Frank Lampard delivers verdict on new Liverpool FC signing
Rotterdam 2018
The Sport Review
Rotterdam 2018: David Goffin forced to retire after freak accident; Grigor Dimitrov into final
The Sport Review
Steven Gerrard hails ‘clever’ Roberto Firmino at Liverpool FC