The world of a professional sportsman is a heady place.

Consider this scenario: you’ve just turned 20 and you’ve been signed by a Premier League Football team, from next week you’re going to be paid £4,000 every Monday morning.

The most money you’ve ever had in your life will be piped into your bank account on a weekly basis and you’ve got no real expenses to spend it on. Obviously, the sensible option is to put away the majority of it and leave a few hundred quid aside for your weekly expenses, but you’re young and dumb – that’s not going to happen. 2 years later you’re struggling to stay in the starting lineup and you’ve spent a lot of money.

Luckily, you’re kind of famous by this point and there are dozens of companies lining up to use your image to sell their products. Who cares if you’ve never run your own BBQ business, people will trust you when you say it’s a great business opportunity. Even though, when it comes down to it, you should be considering your future career and the legacy that you want to be leaving; the promise of an easy buck is just too hard to resist.

It happens to the best of them, even when they’ve got a few more years on the clock, here are a few of the most questionable ones:

Warne Gains Hair, But Loses Respect

When Shane Warne, legendary Australian spin-bowler, retired from Test Cricket in 2007, he was clearly a little worried about a couple of things. One of them was most likely the bald patch on his pate that had been slowly growing for the last 10 years or so, with aerial cameras used in Cricket coverage hardly helping him hide his shame. The second might have been how he was going to keep bringing in money to support his Shane Warne Foundation, a charitable organisation aimed at helping disadvantaged children in Australia.

Thankfully, help came to him in the form of one company and several advertising opportunities. For the last 10 years, Warne has been a brand ambassador for Advanced Hair Studio. With TV spots often being shown in and around cricket coverage that he is featuring in. Although the Cricketing community has taken many chances to ridicule him, Warne has continued to sponsor the company who also have a raft of other Cricketing celebrities on their pay roll.

Yorkshire’s Own Race for Royalties

The Brownlee brothers first made headlines back in the London 2012 Olympics, when they both took homes medals in the Triathlon event, flying the flag for both their country as well as their home county of West Yorkshire. Since then, both brothers have continued to achieve bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals, running alone and as a team. Frequently referred to in the news as ‘local boys who’ve done good’, these young athletes are often caught on-camera performing altruistic acts, proving to the world time and time again what nice blokes they are.

Still – it doesn’t matter how pious you might appear, the promise of a little bit of extra cash is often too good to resist, especially when it comes from a brand that is close to every Yorkshire man’s heart. When Yorkshire Tea reached out to the Brownlee brothers, to see if they were interested in lending their faces to a TV advert campaign in March of this year, the resounding ‘yes’ was probably followed by a resounding ‘how much?’.

The Lightning Bolt’s Fast Millions

When it comes to international athletic superstars, they don’t get much bigger than Usain Bolt. The ‘Lightning Bolt’, as he is often referred to, is the fastest man in the world, holder of multiple World Records and a very – very – rich man. After announcing that he would retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships, there’s much speculation as to what Bolt will do, a retired man at the age of 31. Bolt is no stranger to advertising and sponsorship deals, after winning the 200m World Championships title in 2002 he was offered his first sponsorship deal from Puma. Since then he’s collaborated with major brands such as Visa and has even starred in his own mobile game.

Despite the amount of spare time that he’s going to have on his hands from August onwards, chances are he’ll be continuing his string of television adverts with Virgin Media and other such companies, regardless of the questionable use of the brand that he has worked so hard to build up. If he’s hoping to maintain the $32.5m salary that he’s earned in recent years, he’s going to have to do a lot more than just TV adverts!

We’re all prone to bouts of anger from time to time and sportsmen are no exception to this.

It doesn’t matter what sport you play, tensions are always bound to rise when you play at a high level.

Where some players can leave the field of play with a smile on their face, regardless of the outcome, others struggle to contain their…passion.

Whether they’re winning or losing, there have been a few moments throughout sporting history when certain players have revealed their inner demons. Although these players might prefer to forget these little storm-in-a-teacup moments, the internet has immortalised them forever – let’s hope they can look back and laugh at them now…

McBrat Strops in Stockholm

There was a time when American pro tennis player John McEnroe was known as ‘SuperBrat’. First bursting on to the scene in 1977, McEnroe won the mixed doubles with Mary Carillo at the French Open at the tender age of 18. That same year he qualified at Wimbledon and made it through to the Semi-Finals, eventually losing to Jimmy Connors. It was only after turning pro, a couple of years later, that McEnroe started to gain his reputation for being somewhat outspoken on the tennis court.

In 1984 ‘McBrat’ was captured at the very peak of his playing (and yelling) abilities, as the umpire got the rough end of a tirade that lasted for longer than anyone would have expected. Video replays later proved him to be correct in his assertion, but not so righteous in his reaction:


Messi’s Boot Throwing Tantrum

Even the best players in the world suffer from the odd case of bad luck. Messi has earned himself the title of one of the best footballer’s to have graced the pitch but he’s also known to be a little dramatic when it comes to the treatment of referees. The five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or has been a prolific goal scorer for his club since he started playing professionally in 2005. However, despite scoring over 500 goals for his club, he’s still prone to the occasional lapse in judgement.

Last year, whilst battling against Spanish competitors Sevilla, Messi was penalised for time-wasting after his boot was ripped apart by a passing opponent. Instead of taking the referee’s decision on the chin, the Argentinian international lost his temper and threw the offending shoe off the pitch. This outburst led to him being given a yellow-card which, no doubt, did little to improve his mood. Thankfully, Messi buys his footwear in wholesale, so there was a fresh pair on hand for him to continue the match.


Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce’s Penalty Passion

Affectionately known as ‘Psycho’ by Nottingham Forest supporters, and eventually the rest of the country; Pierce’s reputation as an unrelenting football player followed him throughout his playing career and well into his later life as a manager. Pearce’s position as a defender ensured that he was constantly challenging the opposition and his aggressive style of play was always noted by his fellow players. Fellow England team mate, Matthew Le Tissier, described Pearce as his ‘scariest opponent’.

Pearce may well have had the reputation of being an aggressive player, but his fouling record wasn’t necessarily worse than any other player of the time. Despite not having played professionally since 2002, he is still revered as one of the fiercest players of the sport; this celebration after his successful penalty at Euro ’96 is a good example of why he was loved so much by fans: