Michael Owen Calls For Football Players to Be Allowed to Bet
After the Football Association gave the Burnley midfielder Joey Barton an 18 month suspension for betting on games, players such as former England striker Michael Owen have called for a change in rules to allow players to bet on games they are not involved in.
Barton was found guilty of placing 1,260 bets worth a total of £205,172 on football matches between March 2006 and May 2016. Players are not allowed to bet on any match under FA rules but some are claiming that these rules are too strict.
Michael Owen, has said that he agrees that players shouldn’t be allowed to be on games they are involved in, but he sees no problem with betting on completely separate players.
He gave the example of a Liverpool player betting on a match between Chester and Oxford in a non-league game. He said that there would be absolutely no harm in betting on the game and that many players will enjoy that kind of betting.
Barton has said that the betting companies forming high-profile sponsorship deals with football club was fuelling a gambling culture in the sport. However, Owen has rejected that idea saying that having a bookmaker sponsor wouldn’t affect whether a football player would place a bet.
There are always worries surrounding corruption in regards to football betting but there is no suggestion that Barton was corrupt in anyway and while there are many who agree that the 18-month ban is excessive, it seems unlikely that the Football Association will be changing the rules in the near future.