The man in the middle shows them to dirty footballers, but not the clubs in a colourful sense (3,5)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'middle shows them to dirty footballers but not the clubs in a colourful sense' is the definition.
I know nothing about this answer so I cannot judge whether this works.
'the man in the' is the wordplay.
'the man' becomes 'red'.
'in the' becomes 'cards' (I am not sure about this - if you are sure you should give a lot more credence to this answer).