In recent years football and gambling have become as closely associated as Jekyll and Hyde. Teams have had betting companies offer lucrative pay packets in return for prime sponsorship spots; several players, meanwhile, have fallen victim to breaching betting rules. These are the footballers who were banned for betting.
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The hand-in-hand relationship that football and gambling has is often a hotly-contested issue, especially following the recent demise of Nottingham Forest and QPR sponsor Football Index.
Every footballer from the Premier League to non-league has to follow specific rules to keep their careers going and sustain a contract in the long run. One such rule is the FA betting rule, which doesn’t allow players to place a bet of any sort on the game, disclose to anyone inside information that they are aware of due to their position, and which should be restricted from the public.
While some professionals adhere to these betting rules, others would rather spend their free time off the field placing huge bets flagged by operators. This action usually prompts an investigation by FA to keep the sport’s reputation safe and eventually grant such players a ban.
In this article, we take a look at footballers who were banned for betting.
Although Stoke City has a partnership with online bookmaker Bet365, one of their players was fined £50,000 by the Football Association in August 2013 for violating betting laws. Cameron Jerome was given a harsh punishment after admitting that he had consistently violated the FA’s rules.
At the same time, there was no evidence that Jerome gambled on games or was involved in match-fixing. However, the striker became the second player to be charged under betting laws in a matter of months, following Andros Townsend’s suspension at the same time.
Andros Townsend is another ex-England international who has played in the Premier League a couple of times. The Crystal Palace winger was found violating betting laws while on loan at Birmingham City by the Football Association. Townsend revealed that he lost £46,000 in one night while suffering from a gambling addiction during the 2012/13 season, and as a result, the ex-Tottenham player was suspended for four months for violating betting regulations.
Right now this situation would be impossible because of the existence of the GamStop self-exclusion scheme. There are few NonStopCasino betting sites that are not on GamStop and provide their sportsbook services without a “must-have” gambling restriction tool.
In the months following his FA fee, the player could get the support he needed, and further added that his online betting began when he saw an advertisement on television and downloaded a bookmaker application.
Dan Gosling was a midfielder who previously played for Newcastle United, and he was charged with violating the FA betting rules while on the books at St James’ Park. According to the Daily Mirror, Gosling made about £5,000 from his betting, even though he was unaware of the rules prohibiting him from betting on football.
Newcastle United donated the benefit to one of their charitable trusts, and the player was fined £30,000 as a result of the offence, which included several rule violations.
Barton is yet another high-profile footballer who the FA has charged for breaking betting rules. This happened in December 2016. The odds were stacked against Barton after revealing that he placed 1,260 bets over ten years, including several wagers involving his teammates.
The FA said Barton violated laws by betting on “football matches and tournaments” between March 26 and May 13, 2016, and the midfielder left Glasgow Rangers in November 2016 after receiving a one-match suspension for violating Scottish Football Association gambling rules.
After finding a fitting punishment for Barton’s misdeeds, the FA voted to suspend him for 18 months in April 2017. The former Fleetwood Town manager confessed to having a Betfair account since 2004 and wagering over £15,000 on a variety of sports for an average stake value of £150.
The Sutton United reserve goalkeeper made headlines when he was pictured eating a pie while watching a televised FA Cup match against Arsenal. The incident attracted many spectators’ reactions as some mocked Shaw for munching away while the Gunners were thrashing his teammates.
Before kick-off, the now-defunct Sun Bets had been offering various special bets relating to the Sutton United v Arsenal match, including odds of 8/1 that Shaw would be caught on camera eating a pie. Shaw concluded that it would be best for everyone if he left Sutton United after the media storm created by The Sun Bets.
Although Jordan Stevens is still at the start of his career at Leeds United, we may hear more about him in the future, even though the youngster was handed a six-week FA suspension in September 2019 for violating betting laws. After it was revealed that the midfielder made 59 bets during the 2018/19 season, five of which were on matches involving the Whites, the Yorkshire club described the ban as “disproportionate.”
On the one hand, the small stake of £510.12 may suggest that the penalty was harsh, but Stevens did bet on the “Both Teams to Score Twice” market, which carries a full sporting suspension of twelve months.
Martin Demichelis led Manchester City to the Premier League title in 2013/14. Although he wasn’t fond of gambling, he was fined £22,000 in May 2016 for betting on football matches.
The central defender was found to have made 29 football bets for three weeks, avoiding a suspension but receiving a Football Association warning about his potential behaviour. However, it was made clear that the crimes did not apply to any matches where the then 35-year-old may impact.