The Football Association and UK Gambling Commission are considering a match-fixing investigation after Chelsea and Sunderland conspired in John Terry’s substitution during his last game for the club on Sunday.
The English Football Association (FA) and the John Terry are bored. So bored, they have decided to launch an investigation into the John Terry substitution that took place in his final appearance for the club at the weekend.
Chelsea was already confirmed as champions, and Sunderland was already assigned a place in the Championship when the two teams clashed at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in the final Premier League game of the season.
In the 26th minute, Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford launched the ball into the stands allowing Chelsea to substitute Terry to a thunderous round of applause from both sets of fans and a guard of honour from his teammates.
And when you have played 492 times for the club you have to say it was a nice touch.
That’s not the feeling of a selection of high-class sports journalists, the FA or the Gambling Commission. Not only do some of the top sports writers believe this kind of narcissistic chicanery should be reserved for WWE wrestling, but there is also the minor matter of allegations of match fixing.
The days of someone betting on a win, draw or loss are long gone. In modern times you can bet on anything from a player eating a pie at half time to the period a player will be substituted.
And this is where the FA and the Gambling Commission come into the equation.
Terry was pulled off in the 26th minute because that’s his squad number. News reports suggest that (former) Sunderland manager David Moyes and his team were aware of the decision to sub him on the 26-minute mark before kick off.
A Twitter account belonging to cfcuk, with 14.5k followers, tweeted news of Terry’s impending substitution just before kick-off, and it was retweeted 221 times.
You can see what’s coming.
People receiving the tweet must have run to their mortgage companies, taken out a second loan, and lumped it all on a 26-minute Terry substitution.
It seems only two people were smart enough to make some money from the scheme and rather than betting hundreds of thousands of pounds on the outcome, one bet £10, and the other £25.
The two bets were placed at Paddy Power at odds of 100-1 so you can do the math, it’s not exactly life-changing money, but the FA and Gambling Commission are likely to punish Chelsea because it constitutes match fixing.
‘Fixing is arranging in advance the result or conduct of any match or competition, or any event within a match or competition.’ – FA Policy
The FA has asked Paddy Power to pass details of the bets to them and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the company to protect the names of the bettors.
Likely realising how absurd this whole thing is the Gambling Commission issued a statement declaring that it was the sole responsibility of the FA to decide whether the incident falls within the realm of match fixing.