Christmas is upon us, and we are thrilled and delighted to be able to hand the site over to a professional footballer, Mungo McCrackas of the Scottish Premier League club Heart of Clackmannannshire, for the first of what we hope will be many Christmas messages from the stars of the game. Mungo MCrackas appears – partly as a result of a community service order after he was convicted of punching a pelican last week – with the assistance of his agent, Ted “The Neck” Carter, and we should also take this opportunity to wish all of the readers of this site a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

At this time of year more than any other, the professionalism of the professional footballer is what is put to the test.  South of the border, English players are faced with long working trips away from their families, whilst we Scottish players now have to keep our fitness in check throughout our prolonged winter break. Professional sportsmen have been under media and public scrutiny like never before in recent years.  Young, not-too-bright men with too much time on their hands and far too much money to spend has been the accusation.  But what must also be considered is the other side of the coin.  With this much exposure and success early in life, it is hard for today’s sports stars to even expect to lead anything like a normal existence.

The fact is, we are virtually forced by public expectations to drive Ferraris.  How positive would a fan of Heart of Clachmannannshire feel if he were to see one of my teammates or I, plodding around town in a Maserati or an Alfa Romeo?  Morality, too, is affected.  If one can afford a very high-class lawyer, you are almost obligated to behave terribly in public, which is why I hit that nun.  I point to the fact that, whilst I freely admit having punched half a dozen nuns in the past 5 years, I have received no convictions in a court of law and in front of a jury of my alleged peers.

Ryan Giggs winning the BBC Sports Personality of the year award has thrown this issue into sharp focus.  A dedicated and diligent professional, Ryan Giggs won’t be found in brothels or punching people really hard in the stomach in a nightclub after dark.  He’s more likely to be tucked up in bed with his wife, dreaming of all the free kicks he can practice at training tomorrow morning.

At Christmas time, it is always important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.  So, today, I ask the readers of Two Hundred Percent to consider making a donation to the lawyers of players such as Ryan Giggs or Jamie Carragher.  Not for them the challenge of getting their client off of the charge of punching a nun and snorting cocaine off of her backside.  No, they are forced to eke out a much greyer existence.

A donation of just £475 per hour can help the lawyers of dedicated professional footballers enjoy a more fulfilling Christmas time.  For just £30,000 per week, you can buy them their very own Joey Barton.  However, even small donations of whatever you can afford will be hugely appreciated by these poor drowntrodden lawyers, forced in some cases to even have to practice law to make ends meet between footballers.  For the price of a matchday ticket at the Clackins Park Collosseum, for example, you can afford two Flymo lawnmowers and a high-end Chinese takeaway.  Sir Roddy Bulbs has donated his shoes. Whoever you are, lawyer, professional footballer or whatever the hell else other jobs might be (though not nuns), I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and an obscenely prosperous 2010.