Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge & betting
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been hit with a damaging FA charge.
On Monday night, the FA confirmed that Sturridge has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of betting rules.
The whole case revolves around Sturridge’s loan move last January from Liverpool to West Brom.
The Liverpool striker is accused of knowingly passing on information to an unnamed third party, who then benefited by placing bets and profiting.
The precise nature of those bets are unclear.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) November 12, 2018
Liverpool quickly issued a statement saying “Daniel has… stated categorically that he has never gambled on football.”
Yet, that statement seems to be besides the point, as the FA aren’t charging Sturridge for betting himself.
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) November 12, 2018
Is Daniel Sturridge’s Liverpool career over?
That depends on which paper you pick up on Tuesday morning.
According to the Daily Mail, “Daniel Sturridge could face a career-ending ban”.
The Mail have reached that conclusion by recalling Joey Barton’s 18-month ban (later reduced to 13-months) for betting.
But surely the Mail have made a false equivalency in comparing Sturridge to Barton.
Once again, the Liverpool striker isn’t being accused of placing bets on football himself.
Barton did place bets on football: 1,260 bets over 10 years to be exact.
Nevertheless, it seems fair to say that Sturridge could be facing a lengthy ban if the betting charges stick.
Moreover, the Liverpool striker will surely be hit with a significant fine if he’s unable to clear his name.
For the record, Sturridge has a week to respond to the charges.
Daniel Sturridge’s character assassination in the Sun
The Sun’s columnist Neil Ashton has used Sturridge’s betting problems as a platform to character assassinate the Liverpool striker on Tuesday.
Ashton, in what many may see as a heartless act, has torn into the Liverpool striker in a savage fashion.
What happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty?
Ashton accuses Sturridge of being “a troubled soul.” The columnist then added:
He has never quite fitted in, an outsider in a sport that demands dedication, discipline and teamwork to make it right to the very top.
Ashton also wrote that Sturridge “is not an easy boy to manage… Sturridge adopted diva-like tendencies.”
Of course, Ashton has completely ignored any positive comments made about Sturridge in recent times.
Naby Keita on #LFC: “I understand bits of what they’re saying, but the one who has really, really been good with me is Daniel Sturridge. He comes to see me, he speaks to me and he gives me advice. He has got a lot of experience and he is really helping me.”
— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) November 12, 2018
FA & betting: Is this highly hypocritical?
It’s hard to digest Daniel Sturridge’s betting problems without considering that the FA are being incredibly hypocritical.
English football has sold it’s soul to betting companies long ago.
It often seems that the only advertisers in the world of football are betting companies.
Betting is pervasive in football: to suggest otherwise would be completely ignorant.
This issue was recently examined by Oliver Holt in the Daily Mail:
If it had any shame, English football would stop counting its cash for five minutes and take note. Because the reality is that football in this country has sold its soul to the gambling industry.
The influence of gambling is everywhere and we are in over our heads. Ray Winstone, the bookies’ most famous front man, is as much a part of the matchday furniture now as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
It is time football did the right thing and stopped taking the money. The clubs don’t need the cash. They really don’t. And yet they are willing partners in a burgeoning culture of exploitation.