A study has revealed that international footballers earning thousands of pounds per week are complaining that their peers harass them if they fail to wear flashy clothes and drive expensive cars.
Some footballers have even seen their preferred clothes torn or burnt if they fail to meet the expected standard based on class and cost.
The footballers are therefore complaining that they are being pressured into buying expensive outfits with an aim of showing how successful they are even when they prefer to maintain a normal outfit.
In an age when footballers attempt to become ‘brands’ on social media, those who turn up to training in the wrong type of gear are mocked and ridiculed in the dressing room and even have them destroyed, it is claimed.
According to the study carried out by York St John University, if a player is not wearing what is considered to be the right brand of clothing, their teammates take negative action.
“If a player is not wearing what is considered to be the right brands of clothing, then their teammates will let them know with negative comments or even by damaging the offending clothes,” Study author Dr Graeme Law told the annual meeting of the British Sociological Association
As a result of this negative influence, footballers are forced to get into financial difficulties by buying luxury goods, from garments to watches, cars and other items that they cannot afford.
The study is based on interviews with 34 professional players, 20 at clubs in the English or Scottish Premier Leagues.
According to Law, a footballers image plays an important role in establishing power and respect within the changing room.
Law said that “footballers are constrained to fit the image required by having to buy certain clothes and accessories to be accepted regardless of their actual income.”
One player is quoted to have described the ordeal when he first moved to his club.
He said: “I was getting hammered for my clothes. Every day it was happening because I wasn’t wearing Gucci or Hugo Boss, designer gear.”
The player continued to say “Then they say stuff like ‘can’t you afford it? So you end up changing your shopping habits. I know I did just to get them off my back. It is daft but it makes your life easier.”