Because of social media, footballers now need to be more careful than ever before about how they conduct themselves in public.
Back in the day, players wouldn’t have thought twice about going for a few beers with their teammates and getting into some playful mischief before returning home in the early hours of the morning.
But it’s totally different these days. If footballers do anything remotely controversial when they’re out and about, photos and video footage will inevitably end up being shared across the internet within minutes - and they’ll be scrutinised.
Subsequently, the vast majority of footballers tend to keep a low profile. It’s actually quite rare to see photos or video of players on night out, unless it’s an arranged event with their teammates, such as a Christmas party.
However, Dele Alli and Ross Barkley went out together following England’s UEFA Nations League victory over Croatia on Sunday. Footage of them reportedly arguing with staff at a hotel in Mayfair at 5am ended up going viral and creating headlines.
The Daily Mail have run a story on it, with the headline: ‘'What are you going to do for me?': England star Dele Alli is filmed in angry row with staff at top London hotel where a suite costs £3,000 a night’.
They claim Alli and Barkley wanted an upgrade to stay in the hotel’s £3,000-a-night penthouse, pointing out that Alli earns £150,000 a week.
“On the clip, Alli, who was gesturing with staff, is heard saying: 'Fourteen grand. Think I'll put up with any of this sh*t?” the Daily Mail report.
“‘What are you going to do for me? I'm just . . . but I've got a room here tonight.'
“However, it is difficult to make out the conversation over the narration from the man filming the scene.
“The member of the public who filmed the row claimed it happened at '5 o'clock in the morning' and alleged that both footballers were 'p***** as anything'.
“The man filming says: 'Ross Barkley and Dele Alli, acting like a pair of c**** in here.
“’Embarrassing. Look at them, p***** as anything.
“’Dele Alli telling everyone he spent 14 grand in here. ...Embarrassment, these are England players. Absolute disgrace.
“’These are England players, look, these are role models.’”
Watch the footage here...
While some football fans have blasted Alli and Barkley after watching the video, many others are angry that the person filming uploaded the footage to social media.
Jim White, speaking on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning, has torn into the person who sat there filming the two England internationals.
“They are England players but if they’d been two unknown ordinary guys, would this self-appointed officer of morality be filming it?” White commented. “I somehow doubt it.
“Who is he to turn his camera phone on and start recording this?
“To me it stinks of jealously. Who cares what Dele Alli or Ross Barkley earn? Sure they’re Premier League footballers and they’re paid well but what is it to this guy, who suddenly stumbles upon it at five in the morning - incidentally, what was he doing out of his bed at five in the morning? - and decides to film it without their permission from distance?
“To me it smacks of jealously and this is a wider problem because so many individuals like this guy are looming up from everywhere.
“I think it’s unfair on the two players, regardless of what was being discussed, regardless of what was going on - and I do not care for some intruder to make himself important for a moment and then put it out on social media.
“No doubt he’s sold some of the footage to the red-top tabloids.
“I think it’s out of order and Dele Alli and Ross Barkley have got a case here. They did nothing wrong. Sick of individuals like this who loom up and intrude on your privacy.”
Wow. Tell us how you really feel, Jim.
Here’s how football fans have reacted to White’s rant…