IT is official – football has gone barking mad.

No, I am not talking about the mighty Barcelona losing 4-0 at PSG, shocking as that was, or about Jay Spearing getting booked for kicking a ball in celebration into the Macron crowd.

There is something a lot stranger happening that would have the likes of Nat Lofthouse and Stanley Matthews dumbfounded.

When I read a story this week about American ‘soccer’ side Philadelphia Union advertising a job vacancy for a tattoo artist I was gobsmacked myself.

Apparently the MLS team’s players need advice on what ink to get next and rather than use a local shop, the club want their own in-house tattooist.

And they said Sam Allardyce appointing sports scientists and psychologists at Wanderers all those years ago was ‘far out’.

Having footballers pampered by their employers is not a new thing.

I remember a BBC documentary some years back involving ex-players coming out of the game and recall Neil Ruddock saying that he did not even know how to get a dentist or doctor when he retired as it had all been arranged by his club at the time when he played – haircuts as well, most likely.

But having an in-house tattoo advisor has got to be a first. Whatever next, choreographers to style goal celebrations?

That’s one thing non-league Corby Town don’t need after their much-publicised pint-gate this week. As the players celebrated Ben Milnes’ winning goal against Mickleover Sports last weekend, a photographer caught team-mate Jason Lee swigging some of a fan’s beer.

Certain Danish beers don’t usually do goal celebrations but if they did....well, it would probably be like that.

Going back to haircuts and there was another bizarre story of modern football gone mad this week concerning Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan.

The ex-Sunderland striker is currently on loan at Dubai-based Arabian Gulf League side Al Ahli from Shanghai SIPG and still has the same Mohawk style haircut he had during his Premier League days.

Apparently some Islamic teachings ban ‘Qaza’ hairstyles, where only part of the head is shaved and Gyan is one of 46 players in that league handed a warning letter.

Unusual haircuts, tattoo advice and pre-planned goal celebrations – it really is a far cry from the days of gentlemanly handshakes and short back and sides.