Betting Scams 2
Betting on yourself to lose
The Sheffield Wednesday Three (1965)
It was the Sunday People that actually broke the story of a football betting scam to the Nation in 1965. Ex-England footballers Tony Kay and Peter Swan, together with their Sheffield Wednesday team mate David Layne had been betting on themselves to lose. The story came years after the three had been involved in a game they lost at Ipswich Town. Tony Kay later admitted to placing a £50 bet that his Wednesday side would lose to Ipswich and they eventually lost 2-0. When the bet was discovered some three years later, he was convicted with his team mates of match fixing, fined £150, banned from football for life and sentenced to four months in jail.
Far Eastern Betting Syndicate
Floodlight Failures (1997)
In one of the most unusual football betting scams, a team of three Malaysians fronted an illegal Betting Syndicate that famously disrupted Premiership matches in 1997 by switching off the floodlights during the game.
They realized that they could make incredible sums of cash, cashing on in the popularity of English football betting in Malaysia, by cutting the power when the score was in their favour. They were eventually caught red handed trying to black out a game between Charlton Athletic and Liverpool early in 1997. Two Malaysians and one of the ring leaders were found at the ground three days before the game with a 'circuit breaker'.
They were attempting to plant the device and control it remotely 72 hours later. They allegedly offered Charlton security Guard Roger Firth £20,000 to let them into the Valley. The same syndicate had been behind attempts to fix two other matches, the first at a West Ham and Crystal Palace game at Upton Park, and the second at Selhurst Park, where Wimbledon were playing Arsenal. In both matches the lights failed when the scores were level.
South Africa v England (January 2000)
At the time, pundits hailed it as one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship when Hansie Cronje worked with England's captain Nasser Hussain to try and get a result from the rain affected Centurion Test match. What later emerged was a cricket betting scandal that would rock the sport. Instead of letting the match fizzle out into a rain-effected draw, the captains agreed a double forfeiture of innings – unheard of in Test match history.
South Africa had already won the series so the move was simply seen as a crowd pleasing gesture. However, it later turned out that Cronje had done a deal with South African bookmaker Marlon Aronstam to ensure that there was a result of some kind. Aronstam didn't care who won as he backed both sides at massive prices and simply cheered on a result – England eventually won. Cronje was famously given around £5000 and a leather jacket for his role in the scam.