Premier League footballer on 20,000 a week pictured 'wiping his bottom' with 20 notesLiam Ridgewell was seen squatting over toilet in his 1.5million homeThe 28-year-old had around 1,000 in notes scattered around himHe earns as much in a week as the average West Midlander does in a yearRidgewell last night apologised for what was meant to be a private joke
Angry fans labelled the defender 'arrogant' and 'idiotic'
15:07 GMT, 3 December 2012
A picture of Premier League footballer Liam Ridgewell wiping his backside with a wad of 20 notes has infuriated fans.
The West Brom defender was photographed squatting over the toilet in the bathroom of his 1.5million home in Barnt Green, Birmingham, with his trousers down.
Ridgewell, 28, earns around 20,000 a week – the average annual salary in the West Midlands.
Toilet humour: Fans were unimpressed with the photo of Liam Ridgewell wiping his backside with 20 notes in the bathroom of his 1.5million home
He claims the image, in which roughly 1,000 in cash is scattered around him, was simply a 'joke' intended to wind up a friend who had lost a bet.
But angry West Brom fans labelled the picture 'arrogant' and 'idiotic'.
The offensive picture was sent to The Sun by a supporter who asked not to be named.
He said: 'The people of West Bromwich
earn a fraction of what this idiot earns yet he makes a mockery of his
good fortune like this. It makes me sick.
'We’ve always thought footballers were arrogant, overpaid buffoons and this just proves it.'
Sorry: Ridgewell, left, last night apologised for the picture, which he said was taken after he won a bet, to 'wind up a mate'. Right, a picture of the player's locker strewn with toilet roll was tweeted today
Other fans at West Brom's home match against Stoke yesterday said the picture was 'insensitive' to people who had to scrape together the money to watch Ridgewell play.
Ridgewell, an unused sub in his team’s 1-0 defeat, apologised last night.
'The photo was taken in the
privacy of my home around eight months ago as a joke to wind up a mate,
who I had just won a personal bet with,' he said.
'I only intended him to see the photo
but now it’s public, I can understand how it will be viewed. I am sorry
for any offence it causes.'
His agent Rob Segal told Mail Online today: 'All I can say is, it was a joke that actually wasn’t funny at all, it was intended as a private joke with his friends and he sincerely regrets it.'
Fury: Fans labelled the 28-year-old (right, taking on Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon) 'arrogant', 'overpaid' and an 'idiot'
A spokesman for West Brom, who are fifth in the Premier League table, said: 'This is a private issue for Liam that has become public.
'As a result, it does not put the club in a good light and we will deal with the matter internally.
'However, we would like to stress that, since Liam joined us 11 months ago, his conduct whilst on club duty has been exemplary.'
Ridgewell's teammates today cemented his embarrassment by plastering his locker with toilet roll and posting a photo of it on Twitter.
West Brom player Steven Reid posted the picture along with the comment, 'Guess the locker…….'
The star is no stranger to controversy.
Last year, he cancelled his 170,000 wedding to 23-year-old Kirsty Maclaren, mother of his two children, eight days before the big day.
He informed the 200 guests by text that the nuptials were cancelled.