Posted: 4/28/2017


                This week Joey Barton, the Burnley Premier League footballer, received an 18 month ban from all football activities by The Football Association, after being found guilty of placing bets on 1,260 matches over the past ten years, including some matches in which he played. Looking at the published betting record , he was not very good at it, and lost heavily.

               It was less than six months ago that The Scottish Football Association banned him for one match after finding him guilty of placing bets on 44 matches between July 1 and September 15, 2016 while playing for Rangers FC of Glasgow. His contract with the 'Gers was terminated early after an altercation with his team mates. He reoined Burnley of the Premier League where had played successfully the previous season. The Football Association have stated that the 18 month ban was the shortest that they could have imposed.

               I personally am against the betting culture of British sport and football in particular. Although all players and officials are made well aware each season of the rules, betting is prevalent in The Beautiful Game. TEN of the EPL clubs have advertisements for various betting companies on the front of their team jerseys, and Stoke City are owned by a man who has made a fortune out of the gaming industry. You go to a stadium and on the concourses they will have betting booths for fans to gamble on that club and all clubs matches. During televised matches we are assaulted by advertising from various gambling companies.

                 Up until 2014 it was illegal for players and officials to bet on matches in this country. Then it became a crime to place bets on matches WORLD WIDE.  34 year old Barton claims that the new 18 month sentence will bring him early retirement unless his appeal is successful. The Liverpool born player had 130 first team appearances with Manchester City between 2002-2007 before striking a team mate in training and having to leave the club.  He played 81 times for Newcastle United, 93 times for Queens Park Rangers anf 25 times for Marseilles on loan, before joining Burnley.

                He was jailed in 2008 for assault and affray in Liverpool city centre and received a 4 months suspended sentence the same year for assaulting a team mate. Three times The FA has charged him with violent  conduct. His brother Michael is serving a life sentence for a racially motivated murder in 2005.

                 As a twitter user with over 3 million followers he is considered a philosopher like Eric Cantona, with views ranging from Friedrich Nietzsche to George Orwell, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Morrissey. He has supported 'Get Hooked on Fishing' campaign to keep children out of trouble,  supported the Tamsin Gulvin Fund to offer help for addictive poor people, and has written a column for THE BIG ISSUE which is sold on the streets by the vulnerable and homeless.

                  He has supported gay rights, would like all religion in this country to be privatized and is an honorary associate of The National Secular Society.He also co-owns a racehorse called 'Crying Lightning' .

                 Another footballer in the news, YET AGAIN, is David Beckham. The former England captain and player with Manchester United. Preston North End, AC Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain believes that his MIAMI FC MLS franchise is nearing reality for the 2019 season. He believes that billionaire banker Todd Boehly is ready to commit to funding the franchise. The bargain franchise rights were $19.5 million, as a reward for Beckham's valuable contribution to publicising the sport and MLS while in Los Angeles 2007-2012. The going rate for an MLS franchise is now $150 million. It would be the 24th franchise and has had trouble finding a suitable stadium site.

                 Boehly was part of a consortium that paid $1.94 billion to buy the LA Dodgers baseball franchise in 2012, seeing off a rival bid from Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke.