April 27, 2017

Joey Barton in trouble - again: In the past it's often been related to violent conduct (on and off the pitch) or verbal abuse of some kind. This time it's gambling.

posted by sbacharach to soccer at 05:56 PM - 9 comments

What I'm struck by in listening to UK podcasts is how many people think that an 18 month ban for gambling - including bets against his own team - is excessive. It's true that betting sites very much support the Premier League financially so there could be a little hypocrisy going on here from the FA, yet his behavior calls into question the very integrity of the same. I think a lot of the pundits work with him doing analysis so they are happy to give him a pass, but this would never fly in the US.

posted by sbacharach at 06:00 PM on April 27

I meant integrity of the "game".

posted by sbacharach at 08:28 PM on April 27

I'm no fan of mixing gambling and sports, but the view that this is excessive is understandable. Barton's bets were very small, spread across lots of games, and it looks like the betting pattern of your average punter. There doesn't appear to be any evidence of trying to rig results or even spot betting.

If a footballer was involved in match fixing, they wouldn't be stupid enough to put five quid on it themselves.

posted by owlhouse at 09:52 PM on April 27

The problem with even small bets AGAINST his own team is that it could be used as a signal to other gamblers that something isn't right. Maybe he knows someone is going to fix the match. Maybe he knows that someone is hiding an injury. Maybe he knows that the ref is in on it.

posted by grum@work at 12:44 AM on April 28

Yes, but even then why would he personally put the bets on, and in such low amounts? Other gamblers can't see what he's doing with his bets unless he tells them, so signalling can't be the reason.

Apropos my comment above. On the other hand, maybe Barton IS that stupid.

posted by owlhouse at 02:50 AM on April 28

Other gamblers can't see what he's doing with his bets unless he tells them, so signalling can't be the reason.

Somebody has to know he's made those bets, otherwise they can't be made. Either it's someone at the betting firm, or the person he asks to make them for him...

posted by grum@work at 08:18 AM on April 28

1) Betfair went to The FA. Was there a potential this story would come out, snagging the company in the process, so the company gave the notification? Betfair obviously looks much better now than had this story been "breaking news."

2) I wonder how many players have accounts with these companies: surely some of them place bets on soccer matches?

3) Joey Barton will NEVER be confused with a Mensa member.

posted by jjzucal at 02:43 PM on April 28

1) Betfair went to The FA. Was there a potential this story would come out, snagging the company in the process, so the company gave the notification? Betfair obviously looks much better now than had this story been "breaking news." Good question - why did they wait ten years to turn over this data? I haven't heard any answers on that yet.

2) I wonder how many players have accounts with these companies: surely some of them place bets on soccer matches? They are probably deleting them furiously right now.

3) Joey Barton will NEVER be confused with a Mensa member. He seems to be one of the more thoughtful footballers who gets a mic put in his face, but that may be a rather low bar to get over. I think we'll be hearing him doing a lot more commentary in the next 18 months and beyond.

posted by sbacharach at 02:52 PM on April 28

I'm thinking more of his antics; this gave me a bit of knowledge on both sides - from his upbringing to Question Time (I did not know much about the latter, though I do follow him on Twitter).

posted by jjzucal at 10:18 AM on April 29

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