Derby County Football Club have emerged today as a bastion, perhaps the last, of decency and honour in the murky, cash-guzzling world of professional football.
The club took a brave, some would say heroic, stance against their own club captain, 33-year-old Richard Keogh, after he sustained career-threatening, long-term injuries in a car accident, having gotten absolutely wankered at a booze-heavy team-building event last month.
Today, Keogh has been sacked by the club, who have announced that they will not tolerate “any” member of their club “behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury”.
Club spokesperson, Irma Knobb, gave a firm statement, “Keogh has tarnished the image of Derby County football club. This is a social issue, it goes beyond the club, as a society we cannot allow men named Richard to behave in this way, we are setting an example for Richards everywhere. As a club, we could not stand by and allow anyone with a long-term, potentially career-threatening injury, who goes by the name Richard (or Rich to his pals) to continue drawing a wage while setting such a poor example. It is a moral issue and we had no option.”
Team-mate Tom Lawrence, 25 years of age, a regular Wales international, and the driver of the car in which Keogh was found unconscious, has been given a fine by the club in a move that makes absolute logical sense and is absolutely the same as being sacked.
Let us hope that other clubs around the footballing world can begin to live up to Derby’s exceptional moral standards.