Football is a billion dollar industry. Last year, the English Premier League sold its TV rights for a jaw-dropping 5.2 billion dollars. When you got something so valuable, you naturally want to protect it. Barring footballers from betting is one such move the FA has taken to protect the integrity of the game. But footballers are no saints! Most footballers have proved that they are a greedy bunch. Despite earning weekly wages that run into thousands of pounds, they wanted to make more. Let’s look at 4 such players who brought disrepute by getting involved in football betting.
Martin Demichelis – Manchester City
Argentine defender Martin Demichelis had a glittering career – two Primera Division titles in his native Argentina, a Premier League title and four Bundesliga titles. But the one title he will probably always be remembered by is – ‘El hombre que hizo trampa’ – The man who cheated.
Demichelis was formally charged by the FA for breaching the betting rules. What had he done? To understand that, one has to understand his career. When Demichelis came to England, he was already a legend in River Plate and Malaga where he had more than 180 caps. He followed manager Manuel Pellegrini to Man City and and helped win the 2013-14 Premier League title. But he was now in decline. This was evident when Marcus Rashford ran him ragged in the 2015 derby against Man United.
This was probably the beginning of the end. He started getting more and more frustrated. FA investigations revealed that he had, in all, placed a total of 29 bets on football matches earlier that year. But he was let off lightly and fined just 22,000 pounds as none of the matches were events which Demichelis had the capacity to overtly influence.
Andros Townsend – Tottenham Hotspur
Andros Townsend had a tough initiation into the world of football. Despite being hailed as a prodigy and making his debut for Spurs at the age of 17, he couldn’t land a regular place and found himself going on loan deals. The period between 2009 and 2013 was intensely frustrating, as he could muster up a handful of appearances across the lower leagues.
He eventually returned to Tottenham in 2013, but the homecoming was marred by the stunning revelation that he was to be investigated by the FA for betting-related activities. He was forced to withdraw from England’s under-21s squad for the European Championship and accepted charges that led to an 18,000 pound slap on the wrist.
Joey Barton – Burnley FC
Barton is easily, the most high profile casualty of football betting. This was owing to the lengthy sentence he received which cemented his reputation as the ‘bad boy’ of English football. Barton was a serial offender.
The first case brought against him was by the Scottish FA, who charged the former Rangers midfielder with gambling on 44 matches in 2015 and 2016. This led to Barton being handed a one-match ban which forced him to miss his first game at new club Burnley. But this was the tip of the iceberg. A dossier prepared by the English FA revealed that Barton had placed over 1200 bets over a 10-year period, even on matches where he was playing. This led to an 18 month playing ban.
Matt Le Tissier – Southampton
Former Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier admitted in his 2009 biography that he had attempted to game the system by placing a bet on a game in which he was playing. How exactly? Le Tissier, who had claimed to thought of the plot with a friend and a teammate, wagered on the time of Southampton’s first throw in a match against Wimbledon in 1995.
His plan was to gain possession of the ball in the first 60 seconds and kick it out of play. Though it was not typical of him to much an elementary mistake, Le Tissier was ready to go ahead and earn a handsome bonus on his weekly wages. Le Tissier admitted it was an error of judgement and confessed. He also stressed that he has stayed away from betting ever since.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t place a football bet. If you have a knowledge of the game or want to know how to bet on football games, you can visit some good online football betting sites like Fairplay999 and place your odds! So start playing, start winning!