In what will enrage hard-working football fans all over the world,Â West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell has been pictured wiping his backside with money.
With many fans already unhappy over the huge wages footballers earn, Ridgewell, 28, is seen squatting over a toilet and wipes his backside with a wad of Â£20 notes.
Scattered on the floor in front of him are dozens more Â£20 notes, totalling almost Â£1,000.
The Premier League star, who earns at least Â£20,000 a week, is apparently using the cash instead of toilet roll.
He claims the sick stunt was simply a â€œjokeâ€ to wind up a friend â€” but it will infuriate more than just his pal.
Ridgewellâ€™s weekly wage is equivalent to the average annual salary in the West Midlands â€” one of the most deprived areas in England while many fans in the developed world like Ghana, who pay to watch these stars on television with earn his weekly wages in years.
The disgraceful snap â€” taken in the bathroom of Ridgewellâ€™s Â£1.5million home in Barnt Green, Birmingham â€” was sent to The Sun by a West Brom fan who asked not to be named.
He said: â€œThe 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.
â€œWeâ€™ve always thought footballers were arrogant, overpaid buffoons and this just proves it.â€
Ridgewell, an unused sub in his sideâ€™s 1-0 defeat to Stoke yesterday, apologised last night.
He said: â€œThe 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.
â€œI only intended him to see the photo but now itâ€™s public, I can understand how it will be viewed. I am sorry for any offence it causes.â€
A spokesman for West Brom, currently fifth in the Premier League, said: â€œThis is a private issue for Liam that has become public.
â€œIt does not put the club in a good light and we will deal with the matter internally.
â€œSince Liam joined us 11 months ago, his conduct on club duty has been exemplary.â€
West Brom fans at yesterdayâ€™s home game at The Hawthorns were shown the picture â€” and most reacted with disbelief.
Carpet fitter Ryan Walker, 24, said: â€œItâ€™s insensitive to fans who have to scrape money together just to see him play.
â€œYou wouldnâ€™t catch me doing that with a Â£20 note.â€
Painter Robert Jones, 38, said: â€œEven though he did it for a bet he should give a bit more thought to what kids who see it might think.
â€œItâ€™s not doing much for the image of footballers.
â€œIâ€™d be interested to hear what the Queen has to say about it too. Heâ€™d have been hung for that 100 years ago.â€
But engineer Warren May, 44, said: â€œItâ€™s up to him what he does â€” heâ€™s just having a laugh.â€
Ridgewell split from fiancee Kirsty Maclaren last year â€” eight days before their wedding.