HOW low do footballers need to sink before something is done about their appalling behaviour?

An army of testosterone-fuelled young men with stacks of cash and IQs lower than the number of cars in their garages, is clearly a recipe for stories in the tabloids.

However, the fact they are such role models, to the point where some attribute them almost godlike status, means they must be responsible for their actions.

But they will never take responsibility themselves, not now they’re sitting on such high pedestals, so the responsibility has to fall to their clubs and football authorities.

Unfortunately, the sums of money involved, plus the fact the football powers-that-be are about as useful as Torres in a one-to-one with the keeper mean nothing is done.

If anything, the clubs make matters worse and rather than disciplining them, pander to the stars’ whims.

I won’t repeat the details of the shameful treatment of referee Mark Clattenburg but John Obi Mikel is a disgrace and Chelsea’s actions compounded the situation.

But, every time someone dares to even suggest the behaviour of clubs and players should be clamped down on, they are castigated due to the sums of money involved.

It’s time to say enough is enough and we should start with the basics on the pitch and work our way up from there. Step one would be to ban all bad language in exactly the same way other sports do — eg rugby.

Any obscenity, aimed at anyone and it’s a red card immediately — this would start the process of protecting decent people like Mr Clattenburg.

No more excuses, start with the swearing and then introduce the same penalty for any form of simulation. This would be the first practical step to once again making footballers honest, decent people.

What do you think? Should tougher action be taken to improve the behaviour of footballers? Should swearing on the pitch be an automatic red card offence? How would you improve the image of football? Add your comments below and also vote in our poll.