Do you believe in coincidences? Such as a picture of some clowns being posted to Martin Skrtel’s Instagram page after a disciplinary panel upheld the Liverpool defender’s three-match ban for an apparent stamp on David De Gea?
Perhaps the English FA does, as it appears Skrtel is unlikely to face more disciplinary action for the post.
In the past, the FA has, like Skrtel, stamped down hard on things that annoy them. In 2011, ex-Liverpool headless chicken Ryan Babel was fined for posting a mocked-up photo of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United jersey on Twitter.l
Former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole was hit in the pocket to the tune of $130,000 for calling the governing body a “bunch of twats” on Twitter.
Skrtel, though, is smarter. More subtle. He posted the picture without comment. So who’s to say that Skrtel had not visited a circus that day? That he was at a children’s birthday party? That he is fascinated by men with gaudy painted faces?
This sends a clear message to miscreant soccer players looking for a little social media revenge on their punishers: be smart and sly and you can get away with it. Metaphors are your loophole. Use them.