I make reference to this story published today on Sky News. The keeper in question has since resigned his post and to many this was just another random spot of bad luck.
Couple of points I want to make.
First off kudos to the ex-keeper who worked part time as a goal keeper for a Championship team despite being 150kg and having a soft spot for pies. I think it’s refreshing that in this day and age you can still have this relaxed approach instead of all the fuss and bother of the premier league.
Secondly, this team having a game with Arsenal seems to have resulted in this goalie getting a surge of bad press, and ultimately getting the boot. Right there it just goes to show the society we live in; as soon as this team got a bit of premier league media exposure, someone got into trouble.
Let’s look at the case. All the fuss was caused because this goalie apparently knew the odds on him eating a pie at some point during the match, and bet anyway. The ones getting hot under the collar are obviously saying he broke betting rules. I get that. Footballers shouldn’t bet on football. Makes sense right?
In this case though, football had nothing to do with it; the guy ate a pie during the match.
The more I thought about it, the more I started wondering how bookies are allowed to take bets on absolutely anything, even someone famous for eating pies wolfing one down during a match. Assuming that it is near impossible to not know such bets have been taken, what position does that put our goalie in? Eating a pie is a fully conscious action; it’s not something that has variables like scoring.
But wait, bets are taken for getting carded too, and that can be seen to be a conscious action right?. True, agreed, but getting carded is an illegal move in the game so that is different.
Bottom line is, by taking such bets, wasn’t the bookie putting this goalie in harms way itself? If someone took odds that you would cross the street tomorrow on the way to work; the same street you’re known for crossing, wouldn’t that put you in a position where whatever you do will be interpreted badly? Regardless of having placed a bet yourself.
I think this bookie had no business taking such bets. I think that by doing so they’ve put this goalie in an unnecessary bit of hassle that cost him his post, and that is very sad. I honestly hope the gaming commision shares my view.