Since Joey Barton was banned for 18 months effectively ending his career everyone around the football world has decided to take a deeper look at gambling in their part of this beautiful game. Nobody realized just how much football relies on gambling companies. This is especially a problem in the Scottish leagues. There are four tiers in Scotland and each of these has some kind of tie to gambling as well as the National cups and some of the biggest teams.
The Scottish Cup is sponsored by one of Britain’s biggest bookmakers, William Hill. The Scottish League Cup is sponsored by Betfred. All 4 tiers of their national leagues are sponsored by Ladbrokes. The two biggest teams in the country are also sponsored by Gambling companies Celtic by Safe bet and Rangers by online casino company 32 Red. So with all of these different companies having ties to pretty much every element of Scottish football the question on most people’s mind is; how is it fair to end somebodies career for doing something that is seen around every corner. Many footballers are even enticed to place bets with certain companies!
Just the facts that are above should be enough to persuade you that gambling is a problem in Scottish football but if not then let some of the comments from the Scottish PFA (Players football Association) chairman John Rankin change your mind.
He said “It’s not just players who are gambling. Managers, referees, directors, chairmen, they’ve all got inside knowledge. Are you telling me they don’t have betting accounts? I would suggest they have. When you’re Scottish and go to football, from an early age, your father will take you and you stop at two places on the way to the game – the pub and the bookies. That’s our culture!”
“We’ve imposed bans and that’s not stopping it. There must be another solution.”
It seems as if this problem has been building up for a while with many of the lower sides in Scotland saying that without the sponsorship from major betting firms they wouldn’t be able to survive as a club. This is a massive issue! Whether this is because of Shirt, stadium, league or anything else bookies could sponsor. It has clearly gone way too far and needs to be seriously looked over by the FA!