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Have bookmakers created a problem for footballers?

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There is a growing train of thought that bookmakers have created problems for themselves by allowing punters to bet on transfer moves.

A report in the Daily Mail has highlighted that changes need to be made in the betting market after Liverpool player Daniel Sturridge was charged this week by the FA with misconduct. Sturridge’s charge relates to his alleged breach of betting rules linked with his own move on loan to West Bromwich Albion from Liverpool back in January.

It’s thought that footballers in a sense cannot win in this scenario.  Through no choice of their own, a bookmaker can open up a market on where they will play next.  From there, it’s hard for any player to maintain silence for example with their close friends and family.

They may mention what club they are due to sign for and the recipient of that information is free to go out and place a bet, knowing fine well the end result.

Fundamentally this is wrong.  It’s tantamount to ‘insider trading’ and this is a breach of FA rules, though for the player they are placed in a rather invidious position.

The problem occurs, or can occur, when bookmakers allow more and more markets based on individuals when in fact football is a team sport.  The next manager to be sacked, who will be appointed as manager of a team, a footballer’s next club etc are all markets regularly priced up these days by bookmakers and they are all open to manipulation by the person in question, their agents and their acquaintances.

Sturridge has been charged and has until November 20 to respond and it has to be mentioned that his club state that he has categorically said that he has never gambled on football, which may well be the truth, but these markets are open to so much skulduggery and that has been at least partly caused by bookmaker greed.

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