Philandering footballers

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
September 09, 2010, 5:55 PM GMT+0

The public appears sympathetic towards the wives of cheating footballers, with the general consensus being that it is right for these women to leave their philandering husbands, two of our surveys on the issue reveal.

Wayne and Coleen Rooney are the latest footballing couple to be hit with infidelity allegations, as news broke last weekend of Wayne’s alleged hiring of a prostitute while Coleen was pregnant with son Kai.

When we asked whether Coleen Rooney should stay with her husband, 61% of the public believe that Coleen should leave him. Only 12% believe that she should stand by her man, while a considerable 27% aren’t sure what she should do.

Case closed for Cole

The results align with those of a separate survey, in which we asked whether Cheryl Cole was right to divorce ex-husband Ashley in the wake of his behaviour. The couple’s divorce was finalised last week, nearly six months after the couple split. 76% of the British public agreed that Cheryl was right to leave, compared to just one percent who thought she was wrong to do so.

Unsurprisingly, our TellYouGov panellists turned to the leaderboard to leave messages of congratulations, with one user, or ‘tygger’, saying ‘well done for getting rid of that scumbag’ and another speaking for many when they commented ‘good for her’. Congratulations for Cheryl are matched only by condemnation for Wayne Rooney, who, in first place on the leaderboard, is attracting very high numbers of negative comments from users.

‘Unlikely to leave’

Perhaps worryingly for Coleen, though, is that despite the main response being that she should leave Wayne, 54% of the public think she will stay with him anyway, and only 18% think she will actually leave him. This may be because the couple have a child together; in a recent interview for Vogue magazine, in which she spoke of the ‘heartbreaking’ split, Cheryl Cole admitted she was ‘grateful [that] there [were] no children’.

With the story riding high on TellYouGov and support for footballers’ wives looking strong among the public, but with neither Coleen nor Wayne having commented on the scandal yet, watch this space to see how opinion changes as the story develops.

Survey details and full results: Coleen Rooney

Survey details and full results: Cheryl Cole