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Footballers and Gambling: Club Boss Says ‘We Have Had to Help Players Financially’

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/30/2017

Greenock Morton boss Jim Duffy told the BBC this week his past clubs have had to bail out players due to their gambling addictions.

Duffy made the assertions following reports that Burnley midfielder Joey Barton confessed to his own gambling addiction with 1260 bets on matches between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016.

"There are many, many occasions where we have had to help players financially," Duffy told BBC Scotland.

Duffy said he had dealt with many players "who have got themselves into such a distressed state”, and ultimately found themselves beholden to lenders.

"Let's just say people they shouldn't have got money from and they had real difficulties to the point where they were being threatened," the 58-year-old told BBC Scotland's Sportsound.

"Over the many years I've been involved, there's been an awful lot of circumstances where, of course, I would never disclose which players because it's unfair.

"Gambling is a huge problem within football."

Barton has been banned for 18 months, essentially ending his career.  He called out the Football Association for its apparent hypocrisy when it comes to sports gambling.  Most clubs have sponsorship deals with betting websites.  Just this week, bookmaker Ladbrokes extended its sponsorship of the Scottish Professional Football League for another season.

And, for his part, Duffy stood up for Barton, comparing the suspension to those issued against other footballers who got less for far worse.

"Joey Barton's got an addiction, Joey Barton's got an illness, so why is he the one who's castigated for this?

"You go back to the Eric Cantona one - he kung-fu's a supporter and gets nine months - and Rio Ferdinand misses a drug test and gets eight months.

"Barton's getting 18 months. What's worse?"

- Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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