I was a WAG for 16 years and this is my message to the sobbing snowflakes of Married To The Game: ‘Suck it up, buttercup, this is the life you signed up for!’

For another week there is another wonderfully fun reality series that follows women with way too much time and money.

Married To The Game is about to be released on Amazon Prime and it’s a world that, as a former WAG, I know all too well.

The series follows the latest plethora of women and female partners who have linked up with a top footballer. But amid the outrageous lifestyle, the OTT hair, the handbags and the houses, they all take pains to point out that their world is not what it should be.

One clip lamenting the trials and tribulations of endless designer handbags and first-class travel from the series has gone viral – and no wonder!

Taylor Ward, 26 – a gorgeous blonde glam with 2.8 million Instagram followers and collaborations with everything from hair straighteners to nail kits – is catnip for the fly-on-the-wall cameras.

In the expertly cut trailer, she breaks down in tears as her husband Riyad Mahrez, 32, bluntly tells her he is moving teams from Manchester City to Saudi Arabia in a lucrative deal worth a reported £750,000 a week. When she whines, “I’m going to sit at home by myself,” Riyad replies, “It’s part of the game.”

Taylor Ward is left in tears after her husband Riyad Mahrez tells her they’re moving to Saudi Arabia in the trailer for Married To The Game

Ms Ward and Mahrez celebrate Manchester City's Champions League victory last year

Ms Ward and Mahrez celebrate Manchester City’s Champions League victory last year

For example, this WAG is Team Riyad. I moved four times in five years while I was married to former Chelsea player Jason Cundy. I was more put on notice when my personal trainer rescheduled an appointment than some of the club transfers my ex-husband landed on me.

In the first episode of the six-part show – out this Friday, February 23 – we’re in the spacious dressing room of Taylor’s Cheshire mansion as she chats to fellow WAG Sara Gundogan, 29, who is married to former Manchester City player Ilkay Gündogan . Taylor’s 18-month-old daughter Mila is casually handed several designer handbags, including a black quilted Chanel clutch and a Louis Vuitton number, to play with. When Taylor announces that she’s always lived in Manchester and that her ‘biggest fear is going away’… Well, we know what’s going to happen, don’t we?

Footage from July 2023 of the hugely hyped move from French-Algerian Riyadh to Saudi club Al-Ahli is used to announce his £30 million transfer, alongside clips of Taylor, a former model, driving her six-figure Mercedes 4×4 G -Class SUV along a posh country lane as he moaned – without irony – about how the move was a ‘shock to everyone’ and the ‘brutality of football’.

I’m sorry Taylor, but you can’t go the ‘poor me’ route when you’re a WAG – you really have to take the ‘suck it up buttercup’ approach to life.

While you may have gotten your luxury interior exactly the way you want, the kids in the best schools and finally discovered the perfect nail salon, a transfer agreement can be completed in a matter of hours and you should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice . This is part of the deal – and, let’s face it, what funds your lavish lifestyle.

I get it – you don’t know anyone at the new destination, let alone know how to speak the lingo. And Saudi Arabia is hardly known for its liberal women’s rights.

In one scene, after modeling jewelry with her sister, Taylor is in tears about the impending move to Saudi Arabia and moans, “If I don’t like it, I have no choice.”

I get it, Taylor! You’ve got the cars, the clothes, the country house in Cheshire, the private jet and the permanent… but when you have the custom-made silk rug pulled out from under you as you start a new life thousands of miles from home, it’s a disaster. be very lonely.

Especially if you go the ‘shame on me’ route.

In addition to Taylor and Sara, the first episode also features Cat Harding, the fiancée of Arsenal player Jorginho (and mother of one of Jude Law’s seven children).

A former contestant on ITV’s The Voice UK, Cat, 33, decides to throw her own birthday party, complete with a white baby grand piano, carnival dancers and harpists. The (slightly exhausted) organizer lists some of the last-minute changes she’s pushing for, including a balloon entrance and 65kg of lemons.

We cringe when Cat asks her Brazilian boyfriend Jorginho if she should keep her ring finger free for a proposal… The answer is a resounding ‘no’! (The couple eventually got engaged in December under a neon sign reading “Will you marry me?” in a heart made of flowers.)

We also see Sara sighing at the camera as her husband Gundogan, 33, is transferred to Barcelona: ‘You just get a phone call and are informed… it changes your life.’

She has stayed behind in Manchester and is packing his suitcase, while his framed shirts hang on the wall behind her. And why does he want Sara to be flown away from him? Are ‘two treatment beds’ (which is after to tell viewers that he only trusts his mother to pack things for him.)

Arsenal's Jorginho is cheered on by his fiancée Cat Harding (pictured), who stars in the show

Arsenal’s Jorginho is cheered on by his fiancée Cat Harding (pictured), who stars in the show

Married To The Game follows Everton centre-back James Tarkowski's wife Samantha on her journey to opening her own gym after gaining personal training qualifications

Married To The Game follows Everton centre-back James Tarkowski’s wife Samantha on her journey to opening her own gym after gaining personal training qualifications

There is nothing worse for a football player than a woman who moans and groans. This is difficult advice to hand out, but my words of wisdom for the likes of Taylor, Cat, Sara and their generation are these: club moves are the bread and butter of life as a footballer; it is never a given that the club shirt they put on this week will be the same as the shirt they will wear next season.

You must be gloriously naive if you assume your husband will start and end his career in the same zip code. I’m sorry to break it to you, dear ones: but that’s just not how The Game works.

If you say ‘Yes’, you also commit yourself to his life as a football player and everything that goes with it.

Look at Victoria Beckham. Despite being at the top of her own career as a Spice Girl, she traveled the planet following David. She learned her lesson early after making the foolish mistake of staying in Blighty during David’s transfer to Real Madrid in 2003, when his alleged four-month relationship with PA Rebecca Loos took place.

No wonder Victoria quickly uprooted her life to follow him to Los Angeles in 2007.

That’s why I cringed when, at the end of the first episode, Taylor said, wide-eyed, “I don’t know when I’ll see him again, which is pretty sad.”

Her husband was already settled in Saudi Arabia.

Look, a five-year contract in a Middle Eastern country isn’t exactly a happily ever after, is it? But watching the person you love play world-class football in a stadium where more than 70,000 fans chant his name means he’s routinely treated like a handsome A-lister – that admiration is greater than that of a rock star, because football is global. If he’s doing well, some of that stardust will be sprinkled on you too. You feel special when the world rolls out the red carpet.

That’s why being a footballer’s wife is so attractive. Therefore, young girls see the lifestyle as accessible. They can’t be Jennifer Anniston or Angelina Jolie, but could they be the next Coleen Rooney or Rebekah Vardy? With plenty of hair extensions, fake tan and cleavage – you bet. There are clubs all over the country with local bars and nightlife full of footballers. And the reality is: if you look good, it’s very easy to get one.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides to being a WAG – and I’m proof of that.

There is the constant threat of other women trying to take your place in the bedroom. Never forget that, apart from the weekly matches, footballers train in the morning, visit the physio and then have a lot of time on their hands. A young man, with a fit body and a lot of luxury, who thinks he is invincible, is a green light for every woman with a pulse.

And as for those women with their heads in the clouds thinking that staying in the comfort of their des res in Blighty is the better option for them and the kids, I can say this: a big mistake.

I know the pitfalls of the WAG world all too well. Jason and I broke up when I discovered he had a younger wife in 2010. We had been married for sixteen years and had two sons, then aged ten and sixteen. But despite a lifetime of vigilance, I couldn’t prevent it. .

I know a WAG who said to her other half when he was transferred abroad: ‘I’m happy in Surrey, I’m not going.’ It was not wise to choose Cobham over the club movement. Quelle surprise: they broke up two months later. It is the job of a footballer’s wife to support her husband. You may have married him, but his first love will always be the game.

People like Taylor need to focus on their husband’s happiness. Trust me, if he’s happy, you will be too.

So my advice would be: WAGs, if he gets the transfer to another country, wipe those tears, stop whining and move on. This is the life he – and you – signed up for.

As told to Samantha Brick

  • The documentary series Married to The Game launches Friday, February 23 on Prime Video.