9 of the most unusual fines in football history


There are a lot of fines in football. If you turn up late, you get a fine. If you get sent off, you get a fine. All normal stuff, really.

However, sometimes that fine list extends to some weirder things – some things you didn’t ever think you’d see someone getting fined for. And trust us, there has been plenty of those.

Here are nine of the weirdest reasons players and teams have been fined.

John Hewitt overtakes Fergie

Think of all the reasons a player could be fined for something to do with their car. Speeding? Dangerous driving?

Well, how about overtaking your own boss?

That’s what happened to Aberdeen’s John Hewitt, who picked up a £20 fine from none other than Sir Alex Ferguson for having the audacity to perform a completely safe manoeuvre on the road and overtake his slowpoke boss. Hewitt even got the famous hairdryer treatment when they were back at training!

Robbie Savage’s Toilet Rush

When you gotta go, you gotta go. Nobody will understand that unwritten rule quite like Robbie Savage.

The former Leicester City man was hit with a huge £10,000 fine back in 2002 after referee Graham Poll felt the need to inform the FA that Savage had used his private toilet shortly before kickoff, despite the Welshman admitting that he was playing with a seriously upset stomach.

There was a big hoopla about ‘Was it a prank? Was it disrespectful?’. Nobody could understand that Savage simply had a good ol’ fashioned case of the runs.

Jadon Sancho’s Haircut

Footballers get haircuts all the time. Unless you’re Graeme Souness, that’s never really a problem. However, to break lockdown rules to get a haircut while you’re supposed to be staying inside and away from a potentially deadly virus isn’t exactly ideal.

In Germany, hairdressers and clients are both supposed to wear face masks during haircuts to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus, but Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Manuel Akanji were both pictured without masks and therefore hit with €10,000 fines.

Sancho took to Twitter to post a now-deleted message of defiance against the German FA – an action which will probably land him in even more hot water.

Barcelona’s paltry punishment

Tapping up is very much against the rules when it comes to transfers. Nobody likes to see a club going a step too far to land their dream signing, and that’s what Barcelona – one of the richest clubs around – were found guilty of when they landed Antoine Griezmann from Atlético Madrid in 2019.

Their punishment? A €300 fine. €300. Sure, that’s a lot of money to spend on a night out, but not to a club the size of Barcelona. It’s probably not even worth their time to say the number 300, let alone pay such a fine.

To make this even more ridiculous, Barcelona even appealed the fine! Surely that cost more than just paying it. What’s the point?

Nicklas Bendtner’s Fashion Show

Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner was en route to becoming a meme in 2012, and he didn’t help himself when he picked up a €100,000 fine for a celebration in an international loss to Portugal.

Bendtner celebrated by dropping his shorts and exposing some bright green boxer shorts with the name ‘Paddy Power’ written across the waistband. UEFA were disgusted with the shameless plug and hit the Dane with a hefty fine.

A few days later, UEFA fined the Croatian FA €80,000 after their fans were found guilty of racist abuse during a game – €20,000 less than Bendtner got for showing his pants. Thank God the fans were fully dressed when they were racist.

Kenny Burns makes the wrong pass

Players are only human. They’re always liable to make a mistake and play the wrong pass, but the legendary Brian Clough wanted to teach his Nottingham Forest squad to be perfect.

Former defender Kenny Burns told The Scotsman that Clough once hit him with a £50 fine because he made a pass across his own 18-yard box during a game, and the boss was so incensed that he couldn’t even wait until the end of the game to fine Burns.

“Liam O’Kane was sent to the office to type out the punishment, official paper with the wee Forest tree, and Cloughie handed me it at half-time – 50 bloody quid!”

Kingsley Coman turns up to work

Players are usually fined for being late to training, but Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman was slapped with a punishment for turning up… in the wrong car.

The Frenchman rocked up to training in his fancy McLaren, despite it being in his contract that he could only drive an Audi to and from training as a result of his club’s sponsorship deal with the latter.

He claimed that his Audi had a broken wing mirror, but that didn’t stop Bayern from giving him a lovely €50,000 fine.

Mario Balotelli’s 180

We could have included Mario Balotelli’s racist anti-racism message on this list, but let’s go for his decision to lob darts at some Manchester City academy players instead.

Then just 20 years old, the Italian decided that it would be a good idea to throw darts at the people around him. You know darts, the sharp objects designed to stab into things.

The zany little attempted murder set Balotelli back a cool £100,000.

Seoul’s Blow-Up Crowd

This one could well be the greatest moment in football history.

The coronavirus pandemic has closed stadiums around the world, but South Korean side FC Seoul chose to fill their stadium with dummies to try and make it look like the crowd was full.

Oh, did I say dummies? I meant sex dolls. Actual sex dolls. With sex-doll marketing all over them.

After playing the innocent card and claiming they had no idea what the dolls were actually for, Seoul were hit with a league-record £67,000 fine for “deeply humiliating” the K-League. Fair enough, really.

By 90min

Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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