WAGs reveal X-rated, sordid secrets
CHECKING their husbands' phones, being spat on by strangers and going to hot-tub swinging parties - the reality of life with a football star can be rather different to the glamorous existence some may envisage.
Two former WAGs have told The Sun about the dark side of football they experienced when married to English Premier League players.
These women say the $1800-a-night luxury hotels and designer handbags didn't make up for some of their WAG mates being humiliated by their other halves' sordid affairs, mood swings and wild partying.
Model Lizzie Cundy has two sons with former Chelsea and Tottenham defender Jason Cundy. They were married during the height of his career, from 1994 to 2012.
Cundy, 49, says: "Footballers are the new rock 'n' roll stars - they're very young and make lots of money, so it looks glamorous on the outside.
"But as the ex-wife of a footballer, I know that means having to have eyes in the back of my head.
"It may be different now, but in my WAG days, football clubs were very incestuous.
"They're made up of players from across the world and the country, who only regularly hang out with people from within that club - and that leads to a lot of club affairs.
"I know of footballers having affairs with other players' wives - luckily, I managed to avoid all of that. But it's unnerving how much of it goes on."
Cundy isn't the only former WAG to have spoken out about the sordid goings-on behind closed doors in the football world.
A WAG blogger in England - whose identity is a widely guarded secret - lifted the lid on what it's really like to be a wife of a Premier League footballer through her anonymous blog, I Am The Secret WAG.
She explains how her happy marriage crumbled when her husband was named in a kiss-and-tell story.
"Even though I now believe the story was fabricated, I sit and worry to the point of neurosis about what he is up to when he's out with his mates on a Saturday night," she admits.
"A WAG friend of mine checks her husband's phone at every opportunity she can, examines his clothing after a night out for lipstick stains, perfume aromas, phone numbers etc.
"I am not by any means as bad as her, but I do fear being the last to know that my husband is a cheating b******!
"The thought of reading another sex scandal headline with his name in it, without any warning, completely freaks me out.
"So I have turned into a snoop. I am a phone-checker and if he leaves his Facebook account open on our home computer, I look at his private messages too.
"He hates it that I don't trust him 100 per cent, but I think I'd be an absolute fool if I did."
The "Secret WAG" also says she's heard stories about the ways in which other footballers and their partners keep their sex lives exciting.
"Apparently some top premiership players and their WAGs have formed a small, discreet swinging circle," she says.
"My WAG friend told me that one of the couples has a huge jacuzzi in their house - big enough for at least 10 people - where the group of footballers and WAGs drink a lot of alcohol then have sex with a different partner … or many different partners.
"Now there are so many more actresses, page-three girls and members of girl bands dating footballers, because footballers consider themselves more as celebrities than sportsmen - but that's a fearful prospect for normal WAGs because of the pressure to look great and remain looking young.
"The scales have become a character in my life and every day, I compulsively weigh myself an extraordinary number of times.
"No WAG wants their man's head to be turned by a slimmer woman, and in one day, I've been to the gym four separate times."
Cundy says one of the biggest things she learned as a WAG is that footballers always put their career before anyone and anything else.
"When you become a footballer's wife or girlfriend, essentially you sign up to being their full-time carer," she says.
"It means, unless you're already well established yourself - like Perrie Edwards is and Victoria (Beckham) and Cheryl (Cole) were - then it's difficult to have a career as you're there to look after him, the kids, and then you are last on the pecking order.
"Even what you have to eat is tailored around him, because you have to make lunches, breakfast and dinners to suit his fitness plan and his training schedule.
"Christmas Day isn't really a thing. The biggest matches are on Boxing Day, so if your man's team is playing away, it could mean them travelling away, so they have to leave on Christmas Day to go to a hotel.
"You do presents early, you eat early, there's no booze and you can't have people around because it has to be a quiet day of prep. It isn't really a family time together, which is tough for young kids, especially.
"My husband was injured quite a lot, and that meant I was living with a human pressure cooker.
"When your husband's life is footy and it isn't going well, it causes a lot of arguments because they are unhappy and frustrated.
"If a teammate has been picked in their position over them, all hell breaks loose … with the players and their wives."
Cundy recalls seeing one screaming match between two wives in the players' lounge when one wife stood up in front of the other during a game. The first WAG couldn't see and it turned into a fight.
"It sounds silly, but it's because all you want is your partner to do well so you can have a happy home life," Cundy says.
"When things are bad on the pitch, you're walking on eggshells and that's why a lot of marriages don't work out."
Cundy also says she's suffered abuse from angry fans over the years - including being sworn and spat at.
"When Jason moved from Chelsea to Tottenham, I got spat at by a fan and had to have a police escort through the stadium," she says.
"They were chanting, calling me scum - my little boy was with me but luckily he couldn't understand the bad language.
"It was like going through a war zone, and I got called every name under the sun in front of my young child.
"On the outside, people see nice houses, swimming pools, designer gear, but unless you are happy at home, it isn't worth it.
"If I had a daughter, I wouldn't want her getting with a footballer.
"After all, there's a reason why divorce rates are so high in the footballing world."
This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission