EXCLUSIVE: In footage exclusively leaked to True Crime News Weekly, Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has been caught on tape drunkenly harassing a young woman to go inside a toilet with him. It’s time to call out the footballers who think it’s all about their balls, Gary Johnston writes.
Footballers in the top leagues, across the world, inhabit a life of riches, gratuities and privilege almost beyond belief.
Take, for example, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, recently recruited by that leviathan of the game, Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, on a yearly contract in excess of US$200,000,000,000 – not far off US$4 million a week – in addition to monstrous commercial agreements with global concerns such as Nike, Armani and Nestle baby foods, though I might have made that last one up.
Is he worth it? Is anyone?
As ever, the market will decide, but as well as his performances on the pitch, Ronaldo has been tasked with furthering the spread of the game in a country where football is in its infancy, not nearly as established as capital punishment, arbitrary arrests, trials, convictions and murder of dissidents, fundamentalist dominance and a 43.0% lifetime prevalence of violence against women.
Not that Ronnie will be concerned too much about such trivialities as those, after all, in 2010 he himself stood accused of raping a woman in Las Vegas, a charge only dropped after the putative victim received a $375,000 hush payment aligned with a confidentiality agreement.
In CR7’s world, these things happen, even if he’d prefer no one mentioned it.
For context, based on Ronaldo’s current deal, $375,000 computes to half a day’s earnings.
Of course, it’s unfair to single out the Portuguese cry baby, since in the last few years, a number of top players have also stood accused of sexual assault: Neymar, Karim Benzema, Ryan Giggs, Benjamin Mendy, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dani Alves, Thomas Partey, Mason Greenwood, to mention only a few.
And it’s not only in the top leagues that such circumstances exist; given the boy’s club culture in Australia, abuse and grooming claims prompted by Matilda’s legend Lisa de Vanna, continue to be investigated by police.
It’s a man’s world, after all. Well, despite the ongoing profile of the women’s fame, in the football world, it certainly is.
Sexual assault, as everyone knows, can take many forms, but can fundamentally be described as an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.
It’s also well understood that such behaviour, if unchecked or not called out, can quickly escalate, especially when it occurs within the context of entitled, privileged, pampered, relatively rich men.
Fact: many sportsmen fall into this category.
When it does happen, society – and the media – has a responsibility to react, to name and shame.
Or so you’d think.
This, however, is not always the case.
Regular readers of True Crime News Weekly will be aware that we, alone amongst Australian media, have regularly reported on the ongoing story of sexual abuse of young football players in the Scottish game, something local outlets have essentially failed to do, presumably for fear of upsetting the massive supporter base; in mainstream media these days, it’s the tail that wags the dog.
Recently, due to our ongoing interest in Scottish football, a contact sent a video featuring Glasgow Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor, footage that has not appeared in any local media, appearing to show McGregor (who incidentally was accused of sexual assault in 2010 but saw the charges dropped) harassing a young women in a Glasgow nightclub.
The footage –exclusive to TCNW and available here – is uncomfortable watching but shows a plainly intoxicated McGregor (aged 40 and a man who delights in the unfortunate nickname ‘Shagger’) intimidating, touching and imploring a young woman to accompany him to a toilet.
WATCH: RANGERS GOALKEEPER ALLAN MCGREGOR DRUNKENLY HARRASSES A WOMAN
According to our source, it took place during a Rangers FC night out which, sans McGregor’s highly dubious conduct, was duly reported in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper as ‘Rangers stars McGregor, Worrall and Goldson filmed partying in hilarious clip’: just the boys letting off steam after the club’s Player of The Year bash.
Nothing to see here, move on.
The Sun’s grab, seemingly taken by one time Rangers player Andy Firth, who after a single appearance for the Ibrox giants is now plying his trade for Welsh club Connah’s Quay Nomads, cuts out McGregor’s drunken lech, a curious decision given society’s so-called improving awareness of the issue and the Ranger’s goalkeeper’s somewhat tarnished reputation.
In 2010, a few months after the rape allegation, after a night spent partying in the Seventh Heaven lap-dancing bar, the Scottish international goalkeeper was said to have been involved in an ‘incident’ in Glasgow city centre where he allegedly sustained eye and back injuries after being assaulted by three men.
The assault was reported by McGregor’s fiancée at the time, who was later charged with wasting police time after questions were raised about certain ‘inconsistencies’ in McGregor’s account of the story.
Whilst it is important that the process of law must always be followed, it is equally imperative that all allegations of sexual assault must be thoroughly investigated without fear or favour and that those in positions of power, or like McGregor with significantly more money than brain cells, cannot be allowed to behave with impunity simply because they play a game and inhabit a high profile.
Similarly, the media must also report, no matter the status of alleged perpetrators; after all, influence, celebrity or money, the law is the law.
Or at any rate, it should be.
As outlined above, McGregor’s 2010 rape charge was dropped due to insufficient evidence, despite his co-accused, Kenneth Tong, a Z-list celebrity and former Big Brother contestant, later boasting that they got away with it.
Indeed, according to information relayed to TCNW, Tong declared on Twitter as recently as last year – “Truthfully, when you are as wealthy as I am, you can say, do and think anything without penalty, as you have no one to be accountable to…“
By Tong’s own admission, he had previously been tried and acquitted of rape in 2009.
Accountability, it seems, is relative.
Without prejudice, it’s worth saying that there is no statute of limitations in Scotland with regard to sexual assaults, and given Tong’s words, perhaps it is incumbent on the Crown Prosecution Service (in Scotland known as the Procurator Fiscal) to look again at McGregor’s behaviour in the video and beyond.
Don’t hold your breath though.
My grandmother, a lifelong abstainer and denizen of the temperance movement had a saying she liked to trot out with regard to the partaking of alcohol.
It went like this – “you can tell a man who boozes, by the company he chooses …“
Substitute ‘boozes’ for ‘abuses’, watch the video, then decide for yourself if, like me, you think, for some men in the game, it’s all about the balls.