Joey Barton at court

Just because footballers live lavish lifestyles with multi-million pound contracts doesn’t mean they live above the law.

Whether it be trouble after a drunken night out, speeding on the roads or tax avoidance, sometimes footballers find themselves in hot water. Even Lionel Messi has reportedly done the latter.

For some, it may result in just a fine which they can easily pay off with a week’s wages, but for others, the law is not as kind. They find themselves subject to a free transfer to prison. It could be a week long contract or a spell lasting multiple years.

Find out ten of the culprits by reading on…

10. Ched Evans

Ched Evans mugshot

It’s the controversial story that has been raging around football for the last year or so. In 2012, Ched Evans was convicted for raping a drunk 19 year old girl in a hotel room in Rhyl, north-east Wales the previous year. He was released halfway through his sentence last November.

There has been huge debate as to whether the Welshman, who has 13 caps for his country, should be allowed to play again. Evans’ former club Sheffield United allowed him to train with them for a few weeks upon his release, but many club patrons and sponsors resigned following this decision.

Oldham Athletic then looked set to sign the striker, but were again put off by criticism from on-lookers.

Evans still protests his innocence and is currently trying to get his conviction over-turned, giving him more chance of being able to play again. This however could take up until March 2016.

9. Marlon King

Marlon King has had not one, not two, but three prison sentences in the past throughout a troubled career on and off the pitch.

Firstly, in May 2002, when at Gillingham, he received an 18-month prison sentence for receiving stolen goods after being caught at the wheel of a stolen BMW convertible worth £32,000.

Whilst at Wigan in 2009, King again was sentenced to 18 months in prison, this time for sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm after punching a 20-year-old girl in the face during a night out in Soho.

Finally, most recently the striker received an 18-month sentence for dangerous driving after leaving a man seriously injured following a car crash in April 2013.

King didn’t complete any of the sentences, and returned to playing football straight away after his first two spells in jail. He has still managed to sustain a football career at a fairly high level despite the convictions, featuring in the Premier League for Watford, Wigan, Hull and Middlesbrough.

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