It has been a turbulent few weeks for French international Kurt Zouma and his club West Ham United, following the release of a disturbing video showing the defender harming his pet cat.
Hammers manager David Moyes has been brought under the spotlight for immediately playing him just a day after the story became public, which has attracted a substantial amount of criticism.
So, is Kurt Zouma’s career in tatters and is there any way back for him?
Speaking with the “It’s eleven, it’s heaven for Jamie Vardy” podcast, Russ says that there is no way back for Zouma, with footballers not only classed as footballers, but public figures who have to behave correctly in all areas of their lives.
“I think his career now is ruined now anyway, no one will have him, and he’s lost all his sponsorships. You’re a public figure, it’s not as though you’re a bloke playing football over the park… you’ve got to be squeaky clean”
Host Mark made an interesting comparison to darts players, who would almost certainly have no way back if they replicated Zouma’s actions given that they are their own public figure without protection from a club they play for, and Russ, who has been a darts referee in the PDC for over 20 years, agreed:
“I’d have had a call from Barry Hearn saying thanks ever so much for what you’ve done over the last few years, but goodbye”
Check out the full chat on the podcast, where Russ talks more about his beloved West Ham and shares tales from his years on the darts circuit below!