Matt Bloomfield: 'Players become lawyers to avoid paying dressing room fines'

By Matt BloomfieldWycombe Wanderers midfielder
Matt Bloomfield
Matt Bloomfield has played 390 games for Wycombe since joining them in 2003

A vital component of keeping order in any football dressing room are the fines.

The reason for having a fines system in place is to make sure players can police themselves in the changing room and the management don't have to look after us like kids.

It also allows players to make sure everyone is respecting and looking after our surroundings.

At Wycombe, we always have a fine on the list for leaving plates and cutlery at the dinner table. The management and our chef in the kitchen are not there to tidy up after us.

Looking for loopholes

Other fines can be handed out for poor time-keeping, to ensure we wear the correct clothing and that boots and trainers are left in their correct place, and for putting dirty kit in the laundry baskets.

Never is there a subject that will spark more debate and arguments than fines.

Every player I have known has been in full agreement about the fact that we should have a fines system in place.

This is until he has been fined for something, then it's war and he wants to get every other player fined as well.

Blackburn Rovers visitor changing room
Fines for players can breed a positive culture at clubs, says Bloomfield

Also as soon as a player gets fined, he turns himself into a top lawyer and finds any little grey area or loophole he can to get away without paying it.

The wording has to be spot on to make sure they are watertight.

As we live in a democracy, there is always a right of reply and appeal for any fine given. The senior players will form a committee and after much deliberation find the player to be guilty or not guilty of the 'crime'.

The fines money mainly goes towards the annual Christmas party, which usually sees the squad head for a night out together after one of the early December fixtures. In recent years, there has been a trend of two nights away with a fancy-dress theme for the second day.

Keeping standards high

One of the fine-able offences we have at Wycombe is kicking a football in the gym area. The medical equipment costs the club a good amount of money and the last thing we need is to break something. Kicking a football into the gym from the training pitches outside also counts.

We were doing some shooting practices after training last week and one of our injured players was spotted opening the double doors that lead from the training pitches into the gym area.

We were doing the shooting right by the building and unfortunately one player managed to find the open doors twice. Once without even bouncing.

It's all fun and games and adds to the camaraderie that is essential for any successful team. I am of the opinion that fines are a very important factor in the players taking ownership of their behaviour and their surroundings. That is until I get fined for something...