When you and your mates head out for a weekend of Premier League action, you probably have the day mapped out. Meet at your favourite watering hole, on to grab a bite to eat, place a couple of bets – then follow the crowd to your local fortress. This narrative is a ritual for many of the UK’s season ticket holders.
The footballers themselves don’t get to experience these days out with mates. We won’t feel too bad for them though in their sports cars and designer jackets. These players can’t even enjoy a flutter and are banned from sports betting where they can influence the outcome because of a conflict of interest. Yet, where there is a will there is a way; many of the top footballers have been known to bend the rules like a Beckham free-kick. So, who are they and what have they done?
Some footballers have used their family members to get around the restriction, calling on parents, girlfriends and other relatives to place bets on their behalf. Although this can be made out to be innocent, after all, their family have no restrictions against them, there is always a financial trail left in their wake. The most suspicious bets from immediate family is when they bet against the team of their relative.
There have also been rumours that footballers themselves will get around the problem by using code words when calling bookmakers. However, this has not been 100% verified.
So, Which Footballers Have Been Caught?
One of the most interesting stories of winning a bet comes from the Southampton man. He and a teammate placed a bet on the first throw-in of the game with the intention of firing a wide pass as soon as he received the ball from kick-off. Unfortunately for him, some of his other teammates weren’t in on the act and managed to keep the ball in before running around trying tog et the ball back and win his bet – which he did not.
Sutton United’s incredible run in the cup saw a live televised game against Arsenal. Their 23-year old reserve keeper was known to be on the bigger side and odds were circulating of him eating a pie during the game.
Wayne Shaw, the man in question didn’t disappoint but it was claimed that he hadn’t bet himself – although some friends may have. He went on to say it was a pasty and the bet shouldn’t count anyway.
Joey Barton had a run-in with the Scottish FA during his time north of Hadrian’s Wall for gambling, but the English FA had bigger punishments in line for him. The ex-England midfielder was banned from all footballing activity for 18 months after coming clean about betting on teams he played for (even if he didn’t play). Worse still, he was betting on them to lose leaving fans and officials to ask more questions.
It is a shame that footballers and celebrities cannot gamble on many sporting occasions. Nevertheless, they will always have casinos and PartyCasino ready to help them enjoy other forms of fun gambling.