27th April 2017

There is lots of alleged indiscretion hitting the football newswires this week.

Sylvain Marveaux is one of the players arrested in the Newcastle/West Ham tax things. Not for ever have the audacity to claim a wage whilst posing as a professional footballer at Newcastle Utd, but for something else. Innocent until guilty and all that, but they earn far too much. Northern League players never seem to run into tax issues with their £50 a week. There is a lesson in there somewhere for those that need it.

Joey Barton has been banned for 18 months and fined £30,000 for betting on football. In reality that’s about half a weeks wages, but clearly it is the ban that will hurt him much more. He has admitted breaching the betting rules, which are clear by the way, saying he is addicted to betting.

Whenever I hear someone talk about having a gambling problem, I remember the somewhat glib quote that no-one has a gambling problem, only a losing problem. Barton has the money and the time and he’s not the first to fall into that trap. But look carefully and you realise he was betting a fraction of what he earned, so was probably in control of things throughout.

Mind you, the rules are clear. Footballers cannot bet on football. Period. Barton did and therefore when you get done for the rules breach, it’s difficult to complain about it in my opinion and quite how people can admit to breaking a rule then complain about the punishment remains a mystery to me.

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