Gambling: Fans group urges Scottish football review of gambling links

Paul Goodwin has urged checks and balances regarding Scottish football's relationship with gambling

Scottish football’s relationship with the gambling industry should be reviewed, according to a fans’ group.

It comes in the wake of Burnley midfielder Joey Barton’s ban from football for 18 months after admitting a betting charge.

The Scottish Football Supporters Association says the sport may need to “adjust its moral compass”.

The Scottish football leagues, Scottish Cup and League Cup and some clubs are all sponsored by gambling companies.

Former Manchester City, Rangers and QPR midfielder Barton was fined £30,000 and warned about his future conduct after being charged with breaking English FA rules for placing bets on matches between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016.

He admitted placing “over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports” – of which 1,260 were on football – staking an average of £150 per bet.

Between 2004 and 2011, Barton said he placed several bets on his own team to lose but added he was not involved in the match-day squad in any of those instances.

Paul Goodwin, co-founder of the SFSA, has urged greater checks and balances regarding Scottish football’s relationship with gambling.

“There’s nothing wrong with a flutter and lots of football fans obviously do,” he told BBC Radio Scotland. “But I think, somewhere in between, there needs some kind of checks and balances and controls.

“We don’t want Scottish football sleep-walking into another controversial area.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months

“So we need to know what kind of rules and regulations are there and what sort of help and support are there for players.

“There are lots of players who are ignoring the rules, but I think it’s only one part of this bigger argument.

“If you really tried hard with all the various betting companies that support Scottish football, you could have £200 worth of free bets.

“That’s a fairly big encouragement for people who maybe don’t bet or don’t have accounts to open up accounts – potentially, it’s a slippery slope.

“It’s a dangerous precedent that we have is that we’re loaded with these sponsorships and we need to have a platform in place that allows Scottish football to move forward and to make sure that all the difficulty that comes with those relationships are in balance.”

The SPFL and Scottish FA have yet to comment.

Source BBC

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