Former midfield hardman Kevin Ball has been charged with implementing a new disciplinary system at the Stadium of Light – but it has little to do with what happens on the field!
The club has introduced a system of player fines in an attempt to get players to toe the line – and raise money for their Christmas party in the process. Bally’s part in the procedure is to make sure that players actually cough up the required dosh for their misdemeanours, and he’s now apparently known by the players as “The Policeman”.
Perhaps the most severe fine of the lot – although still loose change for most of today’s footballers – is a £200 penalty for swapping first-team shirts with the oppo, of which Matty Piper told BBC News “We are not allowed to give any shirts away after any kind of game or keep them for ourselves. That is a £200 fine – so my shirt is staying on my back!”
Other fines include:
– £50 for using a mobile phone in the dressing room
– £25 for not wearing flip-flops in the shower.
Piper recently fell foul of the £25 flip-flops rule and said “There have been a few hefty fines handed out recently, so everyone has to be on their guard.”
Fines are also given if players are caught using their mobile phones in the dressing room, or if they turn up late to training or matches – so Sean Thornton and Jeff Whitley are probably the people to ask about the financial redress for that…
To help the players remember, Bally has pinned lists of the ‘crimes’ and the relevant fines up on the dressing room walls – but fines are doubled if not paid within a week.
Striker Marcus Stewart said “The money goes back to the players for the Christmas night out or other end of season thing, whatever the lads want to use it for really.”