Phil Bardsley: how to make friends and influence people?

bardoPhil Bardsley’s latest failure to engage brain before doing something he considers amusing but others find especially stupid may or may not materially affect his status.

We know he’s on his way out and would probably have gone had he not broken his foot playing, at 28, for the Under 21s. Now, of course, he’s been suspended by Sunderland for a daft case of social media-itis.

Scott Harrison, who has evolved in successive reports from “a Sunderland supporter” to the club’s Under 21 player of that name, posted a photograph on Instagram on Saturday after the 1-0 opening day home defeat to Fulham. He wrote: “#opening day (heart).”

Missing a great opportunity to shut up, as Nicolas Sarkozy once said of David Cameron, Bardsley replied as Bardoman26: “Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!”

How have the respected fallen. Only two seasons ago, Bardo’s honest efforts triumphed over his quality deficiency to the extent that supporters voted him player of the season. He also played well enough to be called up to play for Scotland. The response to his Instagram message was less friendly. One pointed out his reported wages of £32,000 a week, adding “and that’s how he treats the club”.

Back in May, Bardsley angered Paolo Di Canio and a good few others by allowing himself to be photographed lying on a casino floor covered in £50 notes. Inevitably, the picture found its way into the press. PDC made a venomous public attack on him, left him behind when the new-look squad went off to Hong Kong and told him to train with the Under 21s. “What is it about footballers and £50 notes?” our own Ken Gambles asked.

Prior to that, the player had an unhappy brush with the law when he parked his Range Rover illegally outside a betting shop while popping in to collect some winnings. He was already on nine penalty points and ended up being banned for six months. An appeal was rejected despite his lawyer’s protestations that the ban would greatly inconvenience Bardlsey, forcing his partner “to get up earlier to take their son to nursery”.

And now this. It seems unlikely the club would be able to fire him, and save on those generous wages, for such an indiscretion. Mocking a defeat for the club that still pays him handsomely is disrespectful, but does it actually bring the club into disrepute? Maybe they’ll try to argue as much. We shall see. A stiff fine seems more likely.

We cannot say whether Sunderland supporters will ever again see Phil Bardsley playing for or against SAFC, at any level. But what a rotten taste in the mouth will now be left by his latest piece of idiocy once he has departed the club for good.

Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt

14 thoughts on “Phil Bardsley: how to make friends and influence people?”

  1. Whatever he is if I’d been unfortunate enough to have been born in time for trench warfare in WW1 I’d have preferred him (and Lee Cattermole) alongside me than any other members of the current 1st X1. This Bardsley thing has got out of hand. It started with an over-reaction from PDiC and has gone downhill ever since. Maybe he should just have called Bardsley a “bloody cretin” and left it at that.

  2. Very interesting and informative to read all the above comments. Some splendid use of the English language. However, he’s still a knobhead.

  3. Have to agree with all the comments above even if, as in Neils observations, the content is not what we want to hear. Player power in the game rules, and the club, fans and history counts little to them. It is, as succinctly pointed out, a ‘Money game’.

    Perhaps one answer to the porblem would be to scrap transfer fees and all players sign up for 1 season only, those who want to stay will if offered a new contract, those who want to leave can and those the clubs wish to divest themselves of can be got rid off. With no transfer fees the clubs are limiting libility and players would then appreciate the requirement to tow the line in terms of discipline, put in maximum effort and hopefully reap the rewards of bonus payments for opta stats and winning things instead of just going through the motions.

    It would certainly result in a very fluid transfer market not ruled by agents and if each club had to have a certain contingent of home bread players then this would even the playing field.

    Just a thought, no doubt full of holes but and interesting proposition me thinks.

    • I confess that I have never rated Bardsley as a player [ quite what Keane saw in him at the outset has always defeated me ] and I am never surprised at the level of stupidity that some professional footballers are capable of displaying ]

      I do however, think that it is never a good policy for an employer to publicly humiliate an employee [ which I think has happened here ]

      I think he should have been fined for the casino incident, and if PDC felt that he did not fit into his future squad plans, he could have been privately advised to look for a move in the transfer window.

      I believe that disciplinary issues should be dealt with in house. To publicise them seems a bit like posturing to me.

      The actual effect has been to cause the player to act like a spoilt child, and to almost certainly make it more difficult to move him on.

      • Trouble is that his disciplinary issues have been in the public domain, in the case of the Instagram message at his own instigation. He may have hoped no photo of him plastered with £50 notes (and, according to PDC’s disputed account, plastered too) would ever appear. But posing like that for someone’s mobile phone in such a location is something no sensible person in the public eye would do. And going back, it must have been at his behest that his lawyer tried to argue – in a public court hearing – that being banned from driving would mean his partner had to get up early for the nursery school run and that he could no longer get back to Manchester to see relatives. Methinks he brings the heavy hand down on himself. I’d be surprised if the judge kept a straight face.

      • salutsunderland – Believe me, I have no sympathy with PB [ and agree that he’s a knobhead ] However the fact that he is publicly indiscreet, does not mean that the club have to follow suit. I just think it is immature.

  4. Are we wise expecting loyalty from footballers? Football isn’t a loyalty game for those involved. For those who support clubs yes but not those who ply their trade? It’s a game for mercenaries eg Gyan, Bent, Benteke, Anelka, Bruce. The owners are ruthless to a point of stupidity these days. When is it ok for a player to be negative? Not whilst playing? Bardsley showed the disconnect with the fans that we all know exists however he should have been managed differently. Footballers are detached from reality as the sad recent case of Kenny Sansom illustrates. It’s nothing new. Dwight Yorke has tipped SAFC for relegation this season. Is this disloyal? Or just his paid opinion? Bardsley has been treated in a harsh way and is incapable of rationalising it. No doubt he’ll suffer in comfort. I’m in the tiny minority that wants managers to be given more time. That said when they are shown the exit I remind myself that their lucrative contracts are usually settled in full. Loyalty doesn’t come into it….it’s a money business. We buy loyalty …..for a while at least. The don’t play “for the shirt” or the club’s tradition…or the fans….it’s the cash. Bardsley’s contract should be cancelled. If he wants to sue let him do so. Don’t hang onto him. Treat him like the commodity he is

    • I can’t disagree with anything you say but there is such a thing as personal dignity, respect for oneself and the rest of society. Bardsley has shown none of those qualities. Not to mention professionalism. When someone is being paid huge amounts to be a professional they should show some respect to their employers and those who ultimately allow them to enjoy the way of life that being able to kick a ball about affords them.

      I used to be a fan of Bardsley – but irrespective of his ability his actions mean I have little time for him. He could have apologised publicly after the casino incident but he didn’t. His hahahahahahaha posting could have been ironic “ah yes I just love being injured and unable to do the job I love and contribute to the team’s success” but it wasn’t. It was him saying “I don’t give a toss and am being paid a fortune for sitting on my backside.”

      Knobhead sums him up.

      • How does calling him a knobhead fit with showing respect for the rest of society? Labels like this simply make things worse even if the cause is understandable. He, like many professional footballers, demonstrates a sense of entitlement blended with a lack of maturity. It’s common amongst many men in their twenties only it’s magnified with the likes of Bardsley. To expect players to change for the better is quixotic. Football has changed for a number of reasons, Bosnan, Sky, Agents, instantaneous communications, 24 hour media… try to swim against the tide is worthy of Canute. As I said is it wise to expect anything other than mercenary behaviour from the modern Pro? Please don’t think I’m happy about this state of affairs. It’s simply how it is ….. as I see it. Sadly many young men finish their careers and are I’ll-equipped to cope with ‘normality’….see Gazza’s latest travails. All rather sad really. Too late to criticise PDC’s megaphone diplomacy apropos Bardsley. He really should just be sacked rather than running out his contract whilst acting as a distraction.

      • There’s no dichotomy in calling someone a knob head whilst desiring that people’s behaviour demonstrates a thoughtful attitude to others. When someone’s actions demonstrate a lack of dignity and self respect they deserve the epithet.

        He may be immature but he’s 28 years old for goodness sake. I have often commented on here about how football has changed and that football players are simply hired hands but there are standards of decency that anyone can choose to adhere to in any walk of life, whether on the minimum wage or a multimillionaire. Bardsley has shown he has the mentality of a Harry Enfield Kevin character which at his age makes him a knob head in my book.

  5. When he looks back on his career, a career without medals, championship trophies etc, he will probably cower in shame and shudder to think about the way that he has behaved in recent times.

    Bardsley was a player that the majority of Sunderland supporters respected. Not a silky skillful player by any means. Very limited in technical ability, but a man who seemed to be playing with a passion and big heart, who understood what it meant to wear the shirt and badge. In so many ways it seemed that Bardsley might be one of the few who would fit the bill for desire and commitment, favored by Paolo Di Canio. After the casino embarrassment there was a part of me who expected the real Phil Bardsley to stand up and show that this was just a complete moment of stupidity, which would soon be forgotten as he stepped up to the plate with a new resolve to win back his place in the squad and team.

    To some extent I could understand his “Yah boo sucks without me” attitude to see how the team from which he was exiled failed to win at home. As a professional footballer, he ought to feel upset at being left out of the squad. I wouldn’t expect anything different from any player, and I wouldn’t expect any other emotions from a player who DID play with wholehearted commitment.

    He has now made it completely impossible (were it even remotely feasible), to regain the manager’s trust, but he has made a huge error in terms of how other managers will perceive him. Any player excluded so publically from a squad should be worked up about the situation but it’s really a good idea to keep your mouth shut. This latest episode shows that he’s at least as bad as McClean, if not worse. I didn’t think that I would ever say that about Phi Bardsley and that’s the sad part about the whole sorry saga. I thought he was better than that and he just wasn’t. Eric is right.

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