January 1, 2000

As an avid and lifelong football nut, I seem to recall Sundays as the day to relax a little, pick up the papers, study the results, scorers, times of goals and, importantly, the up to date league tables.

Most of the Sunday titles in my younger days also included a gossip column with rumours of who’s doing what, which player is going where, who the new manager is going to be and so on and so forth.

Times have changed with the www. internet communication, twitter, facebook and not least a good amount of Sunday televised football on the dedicated sports channels. It seems to me that Monday is the new Sunday and with my time being rather more flexible these days, sounds much better than being retired, I find that Monday is a good time to search here, scan there and to catch up and keep up.

Never, or seldom, disappointed I found this so called ‘Exclusive’ by Paul Byrne, [email protected]


“All bets are off, players warned.”

A sort of

 Byrne goes on:

 “Footballers and officials have been stopped from gambling on any league match. There is also a ban on football topics Such as which team will be relegated and who will become the new manager of a club.”


I knew that the FA had published ‘A Short Guide to the FA Betting Rules’ over the course of last summer: old news Paul but better late than never and always a timely reminder to all of us involved in the game, particularly when it comes to betting and inside information. It is just one reason why Directors and staff at football clubs are required to sign confidential agreements. I am very happy with that protection even though there are times when I would dearly like to answer questions or give out information more clearly but I know that it is against the rules, wrong, I cannot do it, I take the risk.

 The short guide is actually 16 pages long and is a very comprehensive document. It can be found by logging on to the official FA website and drilling down or by using the web site search engine. Following the Introduction the document comes under the main headings of Betting, Use of Inside Information, Match Fixing and Monitoring. The document concludes with a range of examples of breaches of the rules.

 The Introduction makes it clear that the FA has a number of rules relating to betting which affect all players, managers, coaches, club medical staff and other Participants (eg Directors, Licensed agents). Further, the document makes it very clear that the aforementioned are not allowed to even ask or instruct anyone to place any of the bets on their behalf.

 This includes all bets related to the following:

The result of a particular match, matches, or the competition itself.

 Any events in the progress of a match or matches (for example, number of red/yellow cards, corners etc)

 Any other events involving your club of other clubs playing in the same league competition (such as next manager markets).

 So there you have it. When it comes to betting you might just as well say nothing goes and, in my view, quite right too. We have seen examples in cricket in recent times which has resulted in the culprits going to prison; salutary lesson.


Inside information is an interesting one. This is information that those in the garne have become aware of through their involvement at their respective club, or other clubs, which is not publicly available.


The document informs us as an example: “You may find out that your club is about to appoint a new manager before this news is made public. This is Inside Information, and you are not allowed to use it for betting purposes.”

The Rules clearly state:

You are not allowed to use Inside Information to place a bet or to instruct someone else to place a bet on your behalf.


You are not allowed to pass Inside Information onl to someone else which they then use for betting.


Match fixing is the one that I feel very strongly about and it is the one that has become the focus of attention in cricket. I am an avid cricket fan, too, and feel particularly aggrieved by recent activity. Match fixing is the arranging in advance of the outcome of a match, or of events within that match, usually for the Purpose of making money, often from betting.


The Rules Again:


You are not allowed to accept from or offer to anyone any bribes/gifts/rewards of any nature in relation to seeking to influence the outcome, result or conduct of a match or competition


The FA warns us:


“You need to be aware that there is a great deal of monitoring of the betting markets. The football authorities work closely with specialist companies who are constantly reviewing data and betting patterns from betting operators.”


We have been warned, indeed.


By the way, Mr FA. Tote End boys and all that means where we used to stand and sing. It was about Dog Racing you see, no inside info, no bets, not guilty!



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