Skip to main content

Sky Sports News appearance

The football match-fixing scandal reared its ugly head again on Monday this week, and Sky Sports News were desperate for someone to interview. They obviously couldn't track down Declan Hill (I believe they spoke to him on Wednesday), author of The Fix, so my phone kept ringing until I said yes. Via this blog, I've been interviewed/quoted by BBC Radio 4, AFP, Sports Illustrated and France 24, all on the subject of match-fixing.... and paid sweet FA by the way, but it all helps the profile!

Probably a bit naughty to post the clip publicly on YouTube so please allow me the ego scratch of a couple of snapshots instead. The full interview was about six minutes at 5.30, the hourly rotation clip was edited down to about a minute.





What did I say? Mostly that it wasn't surprising at all and that despite the man in the street thinking a fix is usually a shock result like Blackburn winning at Old Trafford, it's far more likely to be a favoured team winning well. Think about it.... it's less obvious, fewer people need to be bribed - just a few to ensure the team given very little hope play no better than expected, and the outside world are generally none the wiser. The 'best' criminals, or more correctly, those who are hardest to catch, are those who cover their tracks well and do their best to stay unnoticed. These 350+ matches in question weren't World Cup finals or blockbuster games - the vast majority of them were low-profile matches with the occasional venture into higher grade football being 'dead' rubbers, where at least one of the teams had nothing to play for. The other common type of fix is the total goals play. Buy off a dodgy referee and have him blow for a penalty at the merest hint of contact inside the box, particularly in a meaningless international friendly. These matches are usually written off to managers experimenting with formations so nobody gets too worked up about it if there's a half-credible explanation for anything that happens.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.

-------------------

Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

I’m going to stick with that form line; here’s the horses who ran in the Festival, running today.

1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
2 [0.1] Estonian Princess (54) 7-1
3 [0.3] Strawberry Boy (57.5) 6-1
5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

Out of all those runs in the Festival, Strawberry Boy was a clear top pick for mine.

He worked very hard out in front with his 1500m to 600m times and was 3L quicker than the average. He was entitled to drop out of the race but instead he fought on dogged…