Reaction to the tabloid stories surrounding Wayne Rooney
from the England MAD messageboard regulars has been ambivalent, the public relations expert Max Clifford has suggested. The Sunday Mirror and News of The World ran stories on Sunday detailing alleged infidelity with a prostitute by the Manchester United forward. It is not the first time the Liverpool-born player has seen such headlines about him: in 2004 he admitted to visiting prostitutes, saying "t was at a time when I was very young and immature and before I had settled down with [wife' Coleen". He trained with his international teammates as scheduled on Sunday morning and was due to fly with them to Switzerland on Monday ahead of Tuesday's European Championship qualifier in Basle. Clifford, a famous celebrity publicist, does not think Rooney's career - either in terms of playing or endorsements - will be affected by the latest tabloid stories. "The only thing Wayne Rooney
has to worry about is his wife, whether she, like all the others, is prepared to accept her husband's alleged infidelities," he said. "Nobody in football gives a monkey's as long as he's winning on the pitch. Man United fans love him. He could be a mass murderer as long as he's scoring goals. "[England coach Fabio] Capello can't demote him because that would mean he couldn't play and the team needs him. Rival fans will have something else to shout about, but so what?" EA Sports, who use Rooney to promote their Fifa football games, have suggested they will continue ties with the player. He also endorses Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda and Coca-Cola. "Will it stop people buying Coca Cola? No. Will it stop parents buying Nike for their children? No," added Clifford.