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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Parlour ex-wife cash bid slammed
Karen Parlour
Karen Parlour wants her maintenance increased to 406,000
Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour's lawyer has reproached the star's ex-wife over her bid for more than a third of his future earnings.

Her contribution to his 1.2m-a-year success was not part of a "joint enterprise" asset to be divided after divorce, Nicholas Francis QC said.

"He is the one who performs the labour," he told the Court of Appeal.

Mr Francis was contesting an appeal by Karen Parlour for an increase in payments from 250,000 to 406,000.

"He is the one who submits to Arsene Wenger's regime of behaviour and abstinence," Mr Francis told the court.

"He is the one who risks injury to his hamstring or whatever."

Mother-of-three Mrs Parlour, 33, also received a lump sum of 250,000, a 1m mock-Tudor house in Hornchurch, Essex, and a holiday home in Norfolk in an earlier High Court settlement.

Drinking culture

Her 31-year-old ex-husband, who also pays 12,000 a year for each of their children, aged eight, six and four, had initially offered her 120,000 a year but was labelled mean by the High Court judge, who increased the amount.

13 years with Arsenal since joining as a trainee
Has made 468 appearances for the Gunners
Integral member of Arsenal's Double-winning sides of 1998 and 2002
Scored a spectacular winning goal against Chelsea in the 2002 FA Cup Final
Has won 10 England caps

Mrs Parlour had originally demanded 50% of his earnings, but then said she would accept 37% - around 406,000 a year, aside from the maintenance payments.

She says she steered her ex-husband away from the hard-drinking culture among some Arsenal players during the 1990s - when both captain Tony Adams and England striker Paul Merson ended up being treated for alcoholism.

She also claims he frittered money away on gambling.

Mr Francis told the court Mrs Parlour agreed the marriage had brought her "riches beyond her wildest dreams".

The star's contract is due to expire in June next year and the only certainty is that his income will decrease in the future, Mr Francis said.

The law is that an ex-wife's maintenance should not be "a meal ticket for life", he added.

The judges reserved judgement.

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