Belfast Telegraph

Robert McNeill: Wayne Rooney’s world just like ancient Romans

It's odd how things that everyone agrees are insane continue in society, with no one able to do anything about it.

Take footballer Wayne Rooney's salary: £200,000 a week, which may not even include bonuses for those occasions in which he manages to blooter the sphere in the right direction.

I don't mean to pick on the boy. I rather like him, even though I suspect that, were we ever to have a pint together, we'd soon be whistling tunelessly, looking around the room in desperation, and saying “So” in a long, drawn-out manner, before petering out with nothing to add.

An aerial view of his house reveals something out of Brideshead Revisited, with an east wing and a west wing.

Good luck to him, as he wanders round it in his pants, clutching a can of Red Bull.

You may say this has got out of hand but, intriguingly, it seems to be nothing new.

Researchers have found that a chariot-racer in ancient Rome made £396m a year at today's prices.

Gaius Appuleius Diocles raced first for the greens before switching to their rivals, the reds.

He indulged in orgies, necked goblets of wine, and was undoubtedly dim.

Plus ca change, as the Romans would have said, had they been French.

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