I suppose if they weren't trying to extort money (or anything else) from him, it wouldn't be classed as blackmail. The women who took and posted the photos were merely trading off his fame and reputation, which isn't an offence.
Mind you, like Tractorboy1978, I don't see he's done a lot wrong other than hanging around in unwise company. He's not shown as getting up to anything other than having a few beers and falling asleep.
I think we will still be assembling the full squad right up to the end of August. It's just the nature of the window, with Prem sides naming their squads and deciding who can go out on loan, plus last-minute situations of clubs not being able to hang onto players we might be looking at and, this time around, perhaps a scramble to offload unwanted burdens on wage budgets.
Yes, I'd like to see Downes back in, but the noises are not great on that front.
One wonders what he would say, who he would call, if it were his family put in fear of their lives, forced to flee their homes with only what they could carry, fleeced of every peeny they own and put into debt to traffickers, then set adrift in a tiny open boat in one of the world's busiest seaways, with notoriously treacherous tides and currents. Would he want them left to drown?
And, indeed, sportspeople who did something like that would be sacked by their coaches. There is far more concentration upon robot-like sticking to intensive training regimes, everything they eat, everything they drink is monitored to the nth degree. There isn't the time or freedom to let off steam like normal people.
It's probably quite difficult to do that. Even if one disregards the phone-hacking scandal, it only takes one slip, a mistake by those family and friends - or even a deliberate leak by one of them - and the whole thing is blown open.
When you're a young person constantly on the road, maybe worldwide, cutting out social media leaves you cut off from any semblance of normal life, interests and hobbies, any escape from the intense bubble of trainng, competition and expectation.
To be fair, a lot of billionaires (and those in the ranks just below) are still doing that sort of thing. Doesn't gain as much publicity, tho.
From Bill Gates and his vast medical projects down to the likes of old Simon Gibson of Landwade Hall, near Newmarket, who died recently and whose Trusts give away about £1m a year to good causes - including building community centres and extensions to schools.
Indeed. The constant scrutiny, no privacy, no time to switch off. You can't even go out and have a few beers with your mates without it ending up in the press.
Compared with a few decades ago, there is much more intensity of competition and preparation, flying all over the world to take part in the events necessary to remain at the top. Indeed, the professional era itself is not all that old.
Gymnasts, in particular, start extremely young, aged 4 or 5. Like many footballers, they give up their entire childhood to the sport and in their case, haven't even got a team to form friendships with. They miss out on a lot of the things which are important for social and mental development.