Reading the BBC’s Gossip Column today I saw in the “And finally” section that The Sun is reporting on Paul Scholes having spent £100,000 on his 10th wedding anniversary. Describing the event as a “100k knees-up” they positively exclaim that he has “changed the habits of a lifetime” in throwing the party. I think this sort of hysterical, over the top reporting, while completely predictable from The Sun, is completely ridiculous.
Now, although I willingly acknowledge that footballers today earn far more money than they probably know what to do with, I don’t think The Sun really needs to be picking on Paul Scholes for splashing out on his wedding anniversary. Yes, one may question his choice of entertainment, as the BBC informs us that he has hired “X-factor singer Laura White” (who?!) for the occasion, but to each their own I always say.
I have a couple of reasons for leaping to the defence of Scholes in this instance. Firstly, thinking about the current generation of near-legendary footballers of which Scholes is a member alongside such figures as ex-United teammates David Beckham and Roy Keane, Scholes is the one who has lingered for the least amount of time in the media spotlight. That’s not because no one was interested in him, but because Scholes made a conscious effort to keep himself and his family away from the media glare.
I reckon he deserves a lot of praise for that feat. It is not easy in this day and age for such a high profile figure to go about his business so anonymously and so downright normally, but Scholes manages it. Whereas other players are constantly in the front and the back of papers like The Sun, Scholes only ever made the headlines at the right end. Indeed, Scholes is probably fairly irregular in his achievement of reaching his 10 year wedding anniversary while still playing professionally. Most players these days seem very keen to take advantage of the limelight that their profession gives them in behaving as promiscuously as possible.
It is this that I see as the second reason why I think it is wrong for The Sun to report excessively about his splashing out on his wedding anniversary. If anything, he should be congratulated, because finally here is a footballer setting a good example to the kids who look up to him. He has got his priorities right, he’s very much family first. And seeing as he does earn such a generous salary and can afford it, I see nothing wrong with his spending however many thousands of pounds on his wife to celebrate ten happy years of marriage.
Yes, we might draw attention to footballers buying and destroying excessively expensive cars or throwing extravagant weddings and selling the photographs at a profit to the media, because those actions are irresponsible and arrogant, and set a poor example to the nation’s youth. But Scholes is the ideal role model. He’s honest and hard working as a player, and a good family man off the pitch. He’s quite retiring and doesn’t crave attention but is, by all accounts, a perennial autograph signer who is always happy to oblige his fans.
So a message to The Sun and the other tabloids: yes, we do agree that footballers, on the whole, are paid too much and act like spoilt kids in a sweet shop and that most of them probably need bringing down a peg or two. But the game does have its nice guys, of which Scholes is certainly one. So if a decent guy like Scholes decides he wants to spoil his wife to celebrate 10 happy years then you should bloody well let him do it in peace.
Happy Anniversary Scholesy, good to see that some footballers at least have their heads screwed on.