THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

7 July ~ The latest footballers' sex scandal to be reported in the media is not one where the public will ruefully shake their heads at the antics of an errant player. The activities of Hearts right-back Craig Thomson are far more sinister than simply sleeping around. Nevertheless the tabloids in Scotland have energetically picked up the story, publishing lurid details of the players attempts to "groom" two underage girls online and then launching a campaign to have the player sacked after the club initially took no action against him.

Thomson was placed on the sex offenders list last month after being found guilty of indecent behaviour with 12- and 14-year-old girls and fined £4,000. He was welcomed back by Hearts with a bullish but bizarre statement from owner Vladimir Romanov which seemed to suggest a conspiracy between, among others, the mafia, Thomson's agent and Hearts legend Gary Mackay, aimed at manipulating the club and its results. Thomson also offered a less than full apology on the club's website, describing the case against him as an "unfortunate affair" and thanking the club for withstanding pressure from "outside" organisations "not in full possession of the facts surrounding my situation". However, last week the club responded to the media backlash, negative comments from ex-players and fans, and businesses withdrawing sponsorship, by suspending Thomson indefinitely.

The outcome doesn't look good for anyone. Thomson's victims would have had to relive what he tried to do to them, which the tabloids recounted in detail over a number of days. And while it is hard to sympathise with someone on the sex-offenders list, he has been offered no counselling by his employers and was apparently still visiting schools to help out with PE classes after he had been charged last September.

Would Hearts have tried to ignore Thomson's criminal record if he had been a reserve or an older player with no resale value? Thomson was tipped to have a great future for club and country, and Hearts have already have invested heavily in his football education so far. It also has implications for other clubs. Rangers and Cardiff target David Goodwillie of Dundee United was charged with rape at the New Year, with the case still not having gone to court. If he is found guilty and the media reflect in detail on his case, what will the club who has just spent £2 million on him do? Gordon Cairns

Comments (2)
Comment by TheRedMax 2011-07-07 13:22:45

The mafia to which Romanov refers is actually the SFA who he described thus in a previous rant.
As for Thomson himself, he's clearly not the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer, and he can't plead the defence that he didn't know how old the girls were, as he has known one of them since she was 6 years old. Is he a danger to children in general or just some daft laddie with too many hormones and not enough brain cells? Only those who know him well would be able to answer, but to retain any sort of credibility at all, Hearts need to ditch his sorry arse pronto.
Typical Hearts madness - It's not for good reason that they're known round these parts as the "Lithuanian State Circus"

And does Gordon know something the rest of us don't regarding the sale of David Goodwillie? As I type this, as far as I know he is still a Dundee Utd player. Albeit just as fkn stupid as Thomson, with a charge sheet to match. 2 previous convictions for assault and a rape case pending.

Comment by Paul Rowland 2011-07-07 22:02:29

This has got to be the most hilarious and ham-fisted attempted at internet grooming, EVER. Hopefully one day Chris Morris will turn it into a movie. So the gist of it is -
- he knew who she was,
- she knew who he was,
- he showed her his bits and bobs on Facebook,
- he asked her to show him her bits and bobs on Facebook,
- she went and told her mum,
- her mum went and told the police, and
- the police went round and nicked him.

Simple as that. But should he be on the Sexual Offenders Register for that? I can't make up my mind. Often when one reads about sex offenders, terms such as "sly" "manipulative" and "scheming" are used to describe the underhand methods they use to lure their quarry into their web of evil perversion. They're very clever, y'see. Evil, and clever with it. That's what makes them so dangerous. Craig Thomson - sexual Offender? No chance. He's too chuffing gormless by half.

My gut feeling is, its not so much society that needs protecting from Craig Thomson - its Craig Thomson that needs protecting from himself.

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