A semi-professional footballer left his job after he was filmed tucking into a pie during a FA Cup clash last week.
Wayne Shaw, who is the reserve goalkeeper for Sutton United, was captured live on TV eating a snack during his club’s fifth-round tie with Arsenal last Monday evening. It emerged after the game that a bookmaker had offered odds of 8-1 that a player would be caught eating a pie during the game, which was televised by the BBC.
The 45-year-old, who also doubles up as a coach, is facing an investigation by the Gambling Commission and Football Association who are trying to determine whether strict betting rules had been breached.
While Mr Shaw’s antics during his side’s 2-0 defeat were originally seen as amusing, Mr Shaw remained subject to the FA’s rules on betting. FA Rule 8(e) specifically states the following: “where a Participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the Participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the Participant shall be in breach of this Rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting.”
Therefore if Mr. Shaw provided information relating to football by virtue of his position, and it enabled others to use that information for betting; Mr Shaw could be in breach of the rules. Whilst there may remain questions as to whether the information provided by Mr. Shaw was “relating to football”, one can certainly expect the governing body to take a dim view of any events likely to affect the integrity of their sport.
Sutton manager Paul Doswell described the stunt as “unacceptable” and acknowledged “it’s a very sad end to what has been a very good story.”
BBC sports correspondent Joe Wilson said: “what happened at Sutton United might have seemed like a joke but it’s clear that both the FA and the Gambling Commission are taking ‘piegate’ very seriously.”
“Wayne Shaw has stated that he didn’t place a bet himself, but it’s also clear that somebody must have done. Sun Bets used their own Twitter account to publicise that they had ‘paid out a five figure sum’.”