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Football's relationship with gambling is not an entirely happy one, whatever impression the Ray Winstone twins, Chris Kamara, or those bloody dancers may give in every advert break during a live game these days.
Yes, having the odd bet can add to the enjoyment, even if to many the idea of backing your own team just makes it matter too much, and the idea of betting on rivals to succeed is anathema. Individuals can become obsessed, however; someone has to pay for those commercials and the profits being chased and there are enough sad and sometimes tragic stories about human weakness to make the happy-clappy ads, in particular, grate. Allegations that fixed odds machines in high street bookies are used to launder drug money are another reminder that the industry carries a persistent taint.
Within football, while we have to be concerned about the consequences to individual fans, the dangers are far greater with regard to people inside the game, and that of course is what is in the news, albeit at the lower reaches. The internet has made betting on the Conference an international concern; even if the same computer technology can automatically flag up suspicious betting patterns with the major companies, there can be huge sums gambled in Asia beyond the ken of anyone in the UK. A dozen or so years ago mysterious floodlight failures at Premier League matches were traced to the Far East, and betting that would be aided by abandonments.
It should be stressed that nothing has been proved in the current case, the allegations remain just that. In addition, compared to the scandals in other countries and sports and at other times the claims are relatively minor. It does not compare to the case that scandalised Germany, when the young referee Robert Hoyzer was jailed in 2003 for fixing games for bookmakers, or the Pakistan cricket fixing scandal of 2010 that led to jail sentences for Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Or indeed the sporting scandals of Serie A or of Marseille in 1993, when the results of matches were influenced to lead to titles, or avoid relegation. Or the allegations, of which they were found not guilty, made against Bruce Grobbelaar, Hans Segers and John Fashanu in the 1990s, involving top-flight English matches. In some countries whole leagues are so corrupt that we benefit, via increased interest in our - hopefully - scandal-free game.
But English football's betting problem is not restricted to players unable to pass a bookies the way they can pass a ball, to bring to mind the 70s maverick Stan Bowles. No longer are top-flight players likely to gamble their way to financial ruin, such are the rewards they receive, but that does not mean the temptations and risks have gone away lower down the leagues.
The autobiographies of 90s stars such as Matt Le Tissier contain comic stories of teams piling in on minor spot bets, such as the time of the first throw-in. But once players and officials start gambling on events they are involved in, where can they safely stop? The only place to draw the line is by banning any betting on competitions in which a club takes part, but even that opens up the possibility that a player who does flout the rules could be open to blackmail.
Almost a quarter of league clubs have a betting-related sponsor, and of course the media of which my employers are a part use that betting advertising to pay for, among other things, my wages. Football cannot be weaned off its reliance on a flutter but don't trust anyone who says the risks to the game's integrity are not worth making a song and dance about.