Rangers midfielder Ian Black has finally broken his silence regarding his gambling suspension by issuing an apology to the club’s supporters for his behavior.
“I apologize to everybody and I need to apologize to the fans,” the Scottish footballer told Rangers TV.
“They’ve backed me and the fans have been good since this came out.”
Black was slapped with a 10-match ban by the Scottish Football Association and fined £7,500 more than a month after news broke out that the SFA alleged to have the goods in implicating Black of betting against his own team on several occasions in the past seven years.
“People are saying that they can’t trust me,” he expressed, before adding that “people who know me and supporters who watch me every week know that I give 100% every game”.
Black’s admission of breaching SFA regulations on football betting wasn’t so much of a surprise given the rampant problem of match-fixing in football is prevalent all over the world, including Scotland. In fact, Rangers manager Ally McCoist shot back at the FA after it had singled out Black by producing a list of over 100 players and officials within Scottish football who he believed gambled on matches.
Black, who is serving an immediate three-game ban and will serve the rest until the end of the season, didn’t shy away from backing his manager’s assertions, claiming that there are a lot of players that are still doing it. The Rangers midfielder stopped short of naming the players, opting only to take full responsibility for his actions. “I broke the rule and deserve the punishment; I shouldn’t have done it.”
For his part, McCoist is prepared to move forward from the episode and has made no qualms about his desire to select Black in future games.
Case closed, or so it seems.
When it comes to match-fixing in football, you never know when the next allegations are going to come. After all, even PFA boss Gordon Taylor has been accused of having a little bit of a gambling problem of his own. And this is a man who heads the world’s most powerful union and somebody who has expressed a zero-tolerance approach towards players caught fixing matches.