Skip to main content

has match-fixing found the SPL?

Worrying signs north of the border as Scottish football has had some very unusual matches of late, backed up by suspicious betting patterns. The common denominator in both matches: Hearts.

Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings is in the spotlight this week after his red card in Tuesday night's match against Hearts was predicted by a lot of punters, particularly new ones, wanting to have bets well above the average for this usually trivial market. Several bookmakers have reported clusters of bets being placed on 'A Red Card to be awarded' at 10/1 on this match, far and above the average for a televised SPL match, with a widespread of accts, lumpy bets and numerous new accounts, particularly from the Liverpool area, where Jennings has links from one of his previous clubs, Tranmere.

SPL - Jennings in betting probe over red card

Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings has denied any wrongdoing after bookmakers began an investigation into betting patterns over the red card he picked up against Hearts at Fir Park on Tuesday.

The Association of British Bookmakers acted after a number of bets were placed on there being a red card during Motherwell's 2-1 defeat.

Jennings, after being booked by referee Stevie O'Reilly for a foul on Kevin Kyle, was shown a straight red card seven minutes from the end after putting his hand on the official's shoulder and speaking to him about a rejected penalty claim.



Hearts were also involved in a suspicious match last month against St Johnstone. Hearts won the match 2-0, but it was the first goal that caused the controversy. Kevin Kyle scored from the spot, but the penalty itself was given away by Jamie Adams, whose sister Kyle got engaged to during that week.

Sounds innocent you say, purely coincidence? This game wasn't available for live betting with many European firms as it wasn't televised, but Asian bookies who bet on just about any match via the RunningBall service (live spotters at the ground), had Hearts priced significantly under the standard pre-match odds, even after an hour when the score was 0-0. By that stage the draw should have shortened significantly, pushing the odds for both teams out noticeably. Generally, these price moves are all automated by algorithms according to the score and the clock. When they aren't, it invariably means something dodgy is up. You'll never get an official statement out of Asian bookies, but the prices tell the story. As McCririck would say 'they knew', but this time it might actually be right.

So what's the explanation behind it? Is it football's version of spot-fixing, or perhaps it's part of an evil plan to push Hearts up the table to increase their sale price or get them into the Europa League. Perhaps Jennings wanted to get pissed at Xmas didn't fancy playing against Celtic and Rangers over Xmas-New Year and told a few folks about it.

Who knows, other than there will be investigations into this, but knowing most of the lame football match-fixing investigations in the past in the UK, I doubt we'll see any guilty party locked up for a considerable period of time....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

Spot-fixing - you will never, ever be able to stop it

According to this report , IPL tournaments so far have been rife with spot-fixing - that is fixing minor elements of the game - runs in a single over, number of wides bowled etc. The curious part of that article is that the Income Tax department are supposed to have found these crimes. What idiot would be stupid enough to put down 'big wad of cash handed to me by bookie' as a source of income? Backhanders for sportsmen, particularly in a celebrity- and cricket-obsessed culture like India are not rare. They could come from anything like turning up to open someone's new business (not a sponsor, but a 'friend of a friend' arrangement), to being a guest at some devoted fan's dinner party etc. The opportunities are always there, and there will always be people trying to become friends with players and their entourage - that is human nature. This form of match-fixing (and it's not really fixing a match, just a minor element of it) is very hard to prove, but also,

Betdaq.... sold...... FOR HOW MUCH???

So as rumoured for a while, Ladbrokes have finally acquired the lemon, sorry, purple-coloured betting exchange, Betdaq. For a mind-boggling €30m as 'initial consideration'. That's an even more ridiculous price than Fernando Torres for £50m, or any English player Liverpool have purchased in recent seasons! As I've written previously there are no logical business reasons for this acquisition. from Nov 29, 2012 The Racing Post reported this week that Ladbrokes are nearing a decision to acquire Betdaq. This baffles me, it really does. Betdaq are a complete and utter lemon. Their only rival in the market has kicked so many own goals over the years with the premium charge, followed by an increase in the premium charge, cost of API and data use, customer service standards which have fallen faster than Facebook share value, site crashes and various other faults. So many pissed off Betfair customers, yet Betdaq are still tailed off with a lap to go. Around the world, Betfair