Monday, 23 May 2011

The Premier League Star and the Super Injunction

About a year or so ago I heard a new phrase for the first time: “super injunction”. This phrase came into the public’s knowledge when celebrities with money to burn wanted to stop the press reporting on their private lives. It didn’t matter if they’d been extra-marital affairs with others, because they had the cash to pay a lawyer to get it covered up by a high court judge.

When you heard the words “super injunction” you immediately thought of Chelsea and England captain John Terry. Terry took out one of these injunctions after a fling with the ex-girlfriend of his team-mate and supposed friend Wayne Bridge. The injunction was soon overturned, and news of Terry’s ability to score away from home became public knowledge. Terry lost the England captaincy for a short time, and Bridge retired from international duty because of it.

While other celebrities have used the “super injunction” to cover their tracks once again it’s a footballer who has come to prominence. News of this story broke over a month when former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas (who?) announced that she’d been having an affair with a high profile Premier League star, but because he’d taken out a “super injunction” she couldn’t name him.

Since then it’s become common knowledge just who this man is. At first his identity was put about in a “nudge nudge, wink wink” Monty Python kind of way. Then, when a Twitter user publicly named the footballer it blossomed from there. It seemed like the world and his dog were talking about this supremely gifted star, even though the press in England and Wales couldn’t.

So while Miss Thomas continued to bleat on in the papers about how she’d been wronged because she couldn’t tell the world who her suitor was, the whole world knew anyway, and the Twitter users laughed their backsides off when it was announced that the football star wanted to take legal action against Twitter itself. It left me wondering if TNA wrestler Brutus Magnus was advising this guy.

The whole situation heated up nicely when the Scottish Sunday Herald posted a photo of the alleged adulterer on it’s front page last weekend. Even though a big black box with the word “CENSORED” covered his eyes only those who had been living in a cage since the inception of the Premier League wouldn’t know who it was. The Herald said they could do this because the injunction only covered England and Wales, and not Scotland.

Then, earlier today, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to out the player, naming him in public for the first time, and because he’d made his statement in the House of Commons it meant that the player in question couldn’t prosecute him.

So now the media has said stuff it.  The man known only as “CTB” in court documents has been publicly named and shamed by a politician only those in his constituency probably know.

I’m not going to publicly name this man, just in case the site where you’re reading this gets a knock at their door from a toady-looking guy in a rain coat and a big brown envelope. By not naming him no court orders are being broken.

I just find it highly amusing that this formerly highly respected international footballer has gone to great lengths to cover up what he did, even threatening to take legal action against people on the internet.

It says a lot about the world of today when highly-paid footballers are more concerned with their public image than saving their private lives. Whenever they engage in a bit of “how’s your father” with someone outside of their marriage they just give a wad of cash to a high-class legal type so he can get a judge to tell the press not to say anything.

So while this man with God-given talent is seeking legal advice about how to get back at a bunch of ‘net nerds I’m left to wonder if he’s actually doing anything to try and save his marriage and heal the wounds he’s inflicted on his family.

You know what would be really interesting? This footballer has a pretty high profile game coming up next weekend. Wouldn’t it be great if the national press got together and decided not to mention his name because of the “super injunction” he’s taken out.

Imagine how he’d feel if he scored the winning goal, yet didn’t even get a mention. It would do more to his ego than a few column inches going on about how he couldn’t keep his pecker in his pants.

In case you still don’t know who the man in question is, and you’re probably one of the few people who don’t, use Google. It probably doesn’t matter if you openly discuss him on a public forum now. Unless you’re scared of “CTB” doing what Jay & Silent Bob did at the end of “….Strikes Back”.

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