Christopher Leake, Daily Mail (London), March 10, 2008
Soccer stars earning up thousands of pounds a WEEK rifled through the handbags of minimum-wage barmaids at a top nightspot, stealing cash and mobile phones, it is alleged.
Pictures published yesterday allegedly show CCTV footage of £8,000-a-week Bradley Wright-Phillips looking on as Southampton team-mate Nathan Dyer and three friends go through the bags, coats and purses of girls, who earn just £5 an hour at Portsmouth’s Bar Bluu Club, then leaving by a private back door
It is claimed their haul included three mobiles, £145 in cash from three different handbags, student cards and cigarettes. It would take a club barmaid a week and a half to earn £145.
It takes Wright-Phillips—son of former England star Ian Wright a—mere 27 minutes to earn the same amount as the missing cash.
Barmaid Emma Parker, 18, who claimed she had a phone stolen, is reported as saying: “I work for just over the minimum wage.
“I can’t believe they would have the cheek to steal from someone like me. They have obviously done it for kicks because they don’t need the money.
“They are treated like heroes but this shows they are actually scumbags.”
Bar Bluu in Portsmouth where Southampton football players reportedly went through the bags, coats and purses of waitresses
Fellow barmaid, law student Noo Kristin is quoted as saying she had £60 stolen from her bag.
She said: “It’s sickening. For someone who earns 80 times what I earn to be involved in stealing from me is just horrible.”
Wright-Phillips, 22, and Dyer, 20, went to the club for a free VIP night to watch R&B star Kano and were plied with drinks in a VIP area.
When leaving at around 3am on February 27, to avoid the crowds, they went towards a back door past an unlocked staff room. Every move was caught on CCTV cameras.
Bar Bluu general manager Chris Sheridan described the thefts as “utterly disgusting” and confirmed he had reported the incident to the police last Wednesday.
A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said: “We are investigating allegations of theft at Bar Bluu. No arrests have been made and this incident is still under investigation.”
Stuart Peters, an agent acting for Bradley Wright-Phillips, told the Sunday Mirror on Saturday night: “We’re very relaxed about this.
“I have seen the footage and it’s quite clear that Bradley Wright-Phillips was not involved. He hasn’t taken a single thing.”