A-League must be on guard against match fixing

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    The A-League is not immune to the issues raised by the Australian Crime Commission two days ago. But rather than drug use, it is the scourge of match-fixing that football in Australia is most susceptible to.

    The ACC’s findings of widespread drug use and alleged corruption in Australian sport have come as a major shock to fans and administrators of all codes.

    Systematic doping and the use of performance-enhancing substances doesn’t so much tarnish the image of a sport as it does trash its integrity entirely, particularly if club doctors and administrators have knowingly participated.

    But while human nature suggests elite athletes will always be tempted by the lure of performance-enhancing drugs – and football is no exception – it’s organised crime and its relationship to the global betting industry that A-League officials must be most suspicious of.

    It’s an industry I perhaps have a better working knowledge of than most.

    When I moved to Japan midway through 2006, I did so without having lined up any particular job to speak of.

    It didn’t take me long to get a job teaching English in a foreign language school of some repute, but not being the most sociable of types, I decided it wasn’t for me.

    And having already picked up some work elsewhere writing about Japanese football, I typed something like ‘Japan football jobs’ into Google and came across a website offering to pay for match previews and reports.

    I ended up writing for that particular site for years, not just about Japanese football but about many other leagues as well, including – briefly – the A-League.

    In doing so I was doing absolutely nothing illegal; simply taking publicly available information, collating it and essentially selling it to an agency who paid me for my time and effort.

    But the fact it was a subscription-based service, and with the company later offering real-time information, I soon realised they were selling the reports to betting agencies and, it must be said, professional gamblers.

    Once again, I should stress that there is nothing inherently illegal in betting on sports.

    In fact, the industry in Australia is heavily regulated and for better or worse pumps millions of dollars into the economy.

    But I bet you, if you’ll pardon the pun, that the Australian gambling industry has problems dealing with Asian betting syndicates.

    It’s these syndicates, based mainly in Southeast Asian states like Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, which investigative journalist Declan Hill has routinely highlighted are principally involved in fixing football matches.

    And they’re usually doing it in leagues they believe won’t attract international scrutiny.

    That’s why you often read about the lower leagues in regions like the Balkans coming under scrutiny and it’s precisely why A-League officials need to be on guard.

    That said, minimum wage laws and the fact A-League players are paid relatively well means it should be far less tempting for them to engage in corrupt practices than in countries where wages are poor and often not paid on time, if at all.

    However, the vast sums of money to be made gambling on football mean there are plenty of organisations willing to use any angle available to predict the outcome of results.

    I was once approached by a legitimate betting outlet from Hong Kong who asked me to write previews of Japanese second division games for them.

    I didn’t take them up on the offer, but what I most remember about their approach was that the money they offered would have made it one of the best-paying jobs I’ve ever had in football.

    And that’s a pertinent fact when you consider what is happening to journalism. Media outlets might be dying a slow death but betting agencies are flourishing.

    That not only says something about the society we live in, it also suggests the A-League must be extremely vigilant if it’s to protect itself from the global threat of match fixing.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (113)

    • February 8th 2013 @ 7:45am
      Allanthus said | February 8th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Football is the far more exposed to potential match fixing via the referee than AFL, Union and League due to the low scoring, and critical decisions being made by a single arbiter. A single penalty given or not given, a red card to a key player can easily determine the result of a match.

      Most weeks in the A-League we see dubious penalties and cards handed out which leave commentators and fans scratching their heads. Sometimes I put it down to bad luck, sometimes incompetence or more often, the syndrome where some referees in particular demonstrate a personality disorder where they need to prove beyond any doubt that they are in charge and the centrepiece of the game, come hell or high water.

      Which is frustrating enough, but is also innocent. I don’t believe for a second that A League matches are fixed.

      But it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to have a situation where something more sinister was at work. It would be interesting to know what degree of background checks and monitoring is done on A League referees. And how David Gallop now feels about going to bed praying that his officials are merely incompetent and not bent.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 8:19am
        Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        The HAL principle amongst the major Australian sports leagues needs to be on the ‘ alert but not alarmed’ footing for match fixing. Why? Football is the global game and thus is easier for foreigners to understand who needs to be approached in order to fix the outcome of a game. Secondly, we are not the EPL…..a dodgy looking result might stand out like the proverbial in a higher profile league that has the eyes of the world upon it.
        In the HAL our equalisation measures make it much less of a shock if last beats first. In fact we half expect it and take pride in the fact our league is so competitive.
        Going in our favour are the revelations of yesterday mean we are forewarned and forearmed…secondly as Mike states: the minimum wage laws mean our worst paid players aren’t as badly off as some of the journeymen footballers around the world…
        NB:Nordster – in fact I think we have just found a valid argument against the abolition of the minimum wage floor in the PFA/FFA CBA.

        • February 8th 2013 @ 10:38am
          nordster said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

          Do u think the individual minimum wage is high enough to deter match fixers? Are players on the minimum wage in a position to adversely affect games, given they rarely play and when they do are more likely to want to use that rare chance in a positive way to build their careers and get a contract upgrade? Although i guess if that potential upgrade money is tied up in mandatory minimum wages it may not flow through to them as a reward for improved performances. Its the guys who play all the time and most likely on a more standard, non minimum contract who are a higher risk group. And unpaid referees. Mike’s argument is not quite the full picture Kasey, dont get too excited.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 9:32am
        Dasilva said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        The most concerning thing is that referees are semi professional. They don’t train full time as they have other jobs and they aren’t paid as well. This makes them easy targets for whomever wants to influence matches

        • February 8th 2013 @ 10:23am
          nordster said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          The referees are a bigger risk than players at the bottom of the tree who may be on minimum wage or less as youth team players. Players at that level are less likely to risk their few opportunities in a first team throwing a game, than ones that play every week. Redirect the minimum wage for players to refs or to youth team players who have made an impact (positively!) on a game and deserve a contract upgrade based on performance. Mike’s point on the minimum wage in his article i take issue with, more to it than that.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 10:36am
            Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Nord:
            In your world If I understand correctly, HAL clubs would be free to take on 2 players at $20k each per season rather than being forced to pay one $40k/season and let the other go…does that not make the lower paid players more susceptible to being influenced by organized crime? Of course if they were a teams#10(playmaker) they’d likely be on more coin, but it only takes one player to drag down an opposition player in the box to give away a penalty and decide a tight game.

            • February 8th 2013 @ 10:41am
              nordster said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              How many games are players on base or lower than arbitrary minimum wage even playing? And when they do, will they waste that chance to fix a game knowing it will make them look hopeless having made a mistake? And most likely damage their career and future prospects. Simplistic argument saying minimum wage protects from fixing. Unless the only reason they signed up was to fix games.

              • Columnist

                February 8th 2013 @ 4:46pm
                Mike Tuckerman said | February 8th 2013 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

                I’m not suggesting that minimum wages ‘protect’ the A-League from match fixing, I’m suggesting that other leagues where (particularly) foreign players are poorly paid and poorly treated are much more susceptible.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 1:24pm
            dasilva said | February 8th 2013 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

            I remember when Ben Buckley was asked on foxsports about the possibility of turning professional

            He replied that he doesn’t believe that paying the same referees more money will make them make less mistakes

            Which was an incredible naive thing to say

            for one thing full time referees get to train full time because that’s the only professional job they have and become better referees

            Full time referees become a viable career pathway and therefore referees in junior level won’t leave the game if they know if they persist they can make a living out of this and therefore there is more likely that talented referees will stay in the game instead of picking the best of the rest

            Last thing they are less prone to match fixing if they are getting a pittance for this. After all part time referees have another job, they don’t need this for a living in a case they get caught. They don’t get paid as much as professional full time referees do and I’m quite sure a referee who continually get abused by fans and players wonders why they are doing this for considering they get relatively little money and then someone approached them for money to fix game won’t at least be tempted.

            I would have been more convinced if he siad it was a tight budget or there isn’t enough money to spare rather than that.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 9:55am
        pete4 said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Allanthus – I don’t agree football is more exposed to match fixing than other codes. For example this happened in the NRL only a few years ago….

        “In delivering her verdict, Magistrate Wahlquist said there was a clear case he was involved in a plan to make money off the first scoring play of the game”

        http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/ryan-tandy-nrl-match-fixing-scandal-court-case/story-e6frexnr-1226159949067

        • February 8th 2013 @ 10:46am
          Allanthus said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          Pete

          Ryan Tandy was trying to make money by giving away the first two points of a game only. A disgraceful fix for sure but not a fix that might overly influence the overall result of the match if the final score was 20-12 or 32-18 or whatever.

          In a sport where 1-0 is a common scoreline, if a Ryan Tandy or a bent referee pulled the same type of stunt, there is far more likelihood that it would influence the match result.

          I’m not having a go at football at the expense of other codes, just highlighting the concern that with fewer players, fewer officials and lower scores, football is clearly more susceptible to fixing.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 12:09pm
            Ian said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

            i’ll just add – with all the exotic betting that is going on, not back in the day when it was which team would win or the final score or winning margin (back when i had a few bets on league), there are more opportunities for scoring in league and naturally afl due to the scorelines. what will the first scoring action be (penalty/field goal etcc) ? who will be the last try scorer? yadda yadda yadda.

            your point about football being more susceptible looks to be more on the end result – which team wins or loses. which you can say is susceptible due to low scoring. but with the example given on tandy – games with different ways of scoring different points are more susceptible to fixing as hopefully it wouldnt have attracted much attention. (rather than football with all scoring opportunities counting as 1)

            • February 8th 2013 @ 12:26pm
              Allanthus said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              Yes that’s true Ian, but for the majority of dedicated team followers, the exotics aren’t important. I don’t care who scores first or last, of if they hit a six between the 20th and 25th overs – I care about if my team wins or not.

              The exotics are important for betting, and can be more easily manipulated. But – if we can define degrees of badness here – it is the absolute match fixing, where the match result is determined, that is the biggest integrity issue.

    • February 8th 2013 @ 8:35am
      jamesb said | February 8th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      I suppose the one good thing to come out of this is that the A-League is known overseas. If foreigners are placing bets, then I guess they would have an understanding of which teams are strong, and which teams are struggling.

      With the global reach of Football, the A-league is not immune from match fixing. As Kasey said above, we need to be “alert but not alarmed’

      This season there has been some poor refereeing. Let’s hope it’s just poor refereeing!.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 9:25am
        Lucan said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        I know of these betting mobs run live totes on Vic Premier League fixtures, and even State League 1.
        If there’s a ball being kicked, they want to be in on the action.

        * these same syndicates even run live totes on the SEABL, the second tier basketball league.

        • February 8th 2013 @ 1:19pm
          Nathan of Perth said | February 8th 2013 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          West Aus SPL also gets a lot of overseas betting apparently, purely because it has statistically few draws.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 2:37pm
            Bunny Colvin said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

            When Betfair started up they used to advertise if you can find two people who want to bet on an event, they would take the wager. Like an under 12’s football match in Hobart for example. Amusing to think half of Asia is putting money down on that, a wonder why someone from up there wouldn’t get someone to lean on someone down here. Oops, I think that has already happened.

    • February 8th 2013 @ 8:40am
      j binnie said | February 8th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Mike and Kasey-. having over the years discussed match fixing with many many people dare I ask the question that neither of you refer to.How does one go about “fixing” a game of football??????.Yes, the referee can award a penalty kick at a very crucial time but even that MAY or MAY NOT affect the outcome of the game if (1) the kicker misses, or (2) the keeper saves the kick.
      That leads to other questions,do you have to involve the kick taker and the goalkeeper as well as the referee in this “fixing”.,and so it goes on,more and more questions, more and more people involved ,and with that fact human nature comes in to play for not all players are”bad boys” and ultimately somebody will say in player language “go …. yourself”.
      Drug use is a different matter altogether and is not new for as far back as 1954 in the World Cup there were insinuations a few ageing players in the finals mey have been taken to “clinics” after the game. You will note I say insinuations,for nothing was ever proved.
      Can you enlighten me as to possible methods please. Am really interested. jb

      • February 8th 2013 @ 10:46am
        Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        jb: you ask how??
        As a person with Dutch heritage, I have read about the famous 1978 World Cup Final between Argentina and the Netherlands(Starring Cruyff et al) held in Argentina under the rule of the Argentinean military Junta…I’ll let ESPN soccernet take up the tale:

        Argentina, the hosts, reached the final against the creative Dutch side in murky circumstances. The Argentineans needed a 4-goal victory to qualify for the championship game, and were able to blast 6 past a strangely paralyzed Peruvian side that was later rumored to have been paid handsomely to fix the score.
        Few games have been played in a more intimidating atmosphere than the final, held in the raucous atmosphere of Buenos Aires Estadio Monumental. The trophy was claimed with moments of technically brilliant soccer, but the hosts’ gamesmanship also had an influential role in the outcome. First, the Dutch team bus was taken on a prolonged and circuitous route to the stadium. Then the Dutch were kept on the field for nearly 10 minutes before the game began, as their hosts chose to remain in the locker room, leaving the Dutch to face a war of nerves, alone with only a hostile crowd of more than 70,000 for company.
        The Argentineans finally emerged, only to question the legality of a plaster cast on Dutch midfielder Rene van der Kerkhof’s hand, which had been sanctioned by FIFA and worn in previous games. Having won the mind games, Argentina set about winning the actual game, delivering the trophy the ruling Argentinean military junta craved.

        how indeed:(

        http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/story/_/page/worldcup101-03242010/ce/us/ten-most-controversial-moments

        • February 8th 2013 @ 12:47pm
          j binnie said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          Kasey- Thanks for the reply & although you quite rightly cite an article that goes a long way to describing “mind games” in detail, it doesn’t actually spell out how a game can be FIXED thus guaranteeing a return for the investors in big money gambling,guys, who we are led to believe, don’t take to failure too kindly.
          I go back a little further and ask you to have a look at the 1954 World Cup where West Germany lost a prelim game to the overwhelming favourites Hungary by 8-3 They met in the final and with only 4 changes to their team the W,Germans again fronted Hungary in the final,Hungary went 2-0 up and then the Germans (with some real “old-stagers” in the team),staged a remarkable comeback to win 3-2. Two minutes from time Puskas scored what appeared to be a perfectly legitimate equaliser but was given offside by a linesman,to the amazement of the 60,000. crowd
          As late as 1974 film appeared that proved Puskas was not offside.
          Now these facts alone allied to the rumoured injection of players with an alleged stimulant called Pervitin (the Germans admitted the injections but claimed it was with Vitamin C, which investigation at a Berlin University some years later into doping in fooball found could have been had by eating an orange!!!! ).almost warrant the perfect setting for some sort of anti – football trickery,be it doping of bribing.
          At the time ,and much later, the ruling bodies dismissed all the evidence with the usual,—–“not proven”.
          Again the question, HOW does one go about fixing the result of a game that “guarantees ” success in a nefarious venture.jb

          • February 8th 2013 @ 12:57pm
            Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            jb, you’re welcome, always happy to debate the issues of the day:

            I don’t think one can ever ‘guarantee’ a result, I refer you to the infamous Chicago Black Sox Scandal of Major League Baseball…allegedly ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson and his teammates took money to throw the 1919 World Series(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sox_Scandal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sox_Scandal

            Quite how they managed to prove Jackson deserved to be thrown out of baseball when he played so well
            [He had a Series-leading .375 average – including the only home run of the Series– threw out five base runners, and handled 30 chances in the outfield with no errors.] is still debated today..perhaps he took money but got an attack of the guilts?
            Today I suppose even if you ‘bought the ref’, or one of the goalkeepers you could never be sure they stayed ‘bought’?

            • February 8th 2013 @ 2:52pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

              • February 8th 2013 @ 5:07pm
                j binnie said | February 8th 2013 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

                Ian – I remember this case and it was thought,but never quite proven, that this game was fixed and Escobar’s assassination was a result, However it has to be admitted perhaps it was the result of alcohol fuelled rage quite common among rabid South American fans, especially in the night club district at 3.30am. Doubts have to be taken from the fact that it was the USA’s first goal that Escobar put into his net not the eventual “winner”.That other “stars’ did not perform is hearsay not proof of gambling money revenge.
                Unusual results are not uncommon in football. In the 1950 World Cup the USA put out in early rounds what was widely recognised as the best team in the world at that time,England.Sensation and disbelief were the result
                As I have explained in my answer to Kasey,Hungary had not lost a game in 2 years when they went to the ’54 W.C. yet W.Germany, who not many realise were at that time an amateur team,, beat them 3-2 in the final.
                ’66 saw the emergence of another dark horse in North Korea who had a wonderful tournament just falling to PORTUGAL in the never to be forgotten “Eusebio tie”
                All these games and teams had doubts surrounding them but the only one that ever created investigation in later years was the West German success and as I said this was issued with a “nothing was proved” verdict. jb

            • February 8th 2013 @ 4:45pm
              j binnie said | February 8th 2013 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

              KASEY – My thoughts exactly though I could not compare baseball with football for in the instant of batting one man is at the crease and as an individual he could be “bought ” to disrupt the innings,but football??????
              For a trial, think how you would go about disrupting the play of 11 individuals, for even if you “bought” the goalkeeper HE has to stop his teamates from scoring goals at the other end!!!!!!!????
              Fixing a football game!!!!. It is much easier to say than I imagine it is to do. Thanks again jb

          • February 8th 2013 @ 3:19pm
            Mikey said | February 8th 2013 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            The Italian football scandal Calciopoli is well known.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Italian_football_scandal

            Listen to the Guardian’s podcast and there’s sometimes a mention of shonky results in certain European leagues, particularly in dead rubbers.

            • February 8th 2013 @ 4:20pm
              Diablo said | February 8th 2013 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

              That was an “Influence Peddling” scandal NOT match fixing. The police had hundreds of hours of tapped phone calls and yet not one player, referee or coach was implicated. Funny kind of match fixing?

        • February 8th 2013 @ 4:38pm
          Rinus Michels said | February 8th 2013 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

          Cruyff did not play in the 1978 world cup, he retired in 1977 after his family was threatened in a kidnapping attempt in Barcelona.

    • February 8th 2013 @ 9:05am
      c said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

      agreed match fixing is an easy option in our game but i trust that drugs are not a serious issue i wish the aussie media would not tar us with the same brush as the egg ball codes as it is where no doubt drugs would be a serious problem you only have to look at the players in those games

      • February 8th 2013 @ 9:25am
        Anon said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        the question is on what basis to you trust that drugs are not a serious issue??

        is that via the FFA’s comprehensive, well publicised and reported illicit drugs testing?? (do they have a program??)

        or the trust in ASADA testing?? (wasn’t that blown out of the water yesterday? it’s no longer testing – it’s now about intelligence – read AFL Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick’s comments about how even the AFL lost faith in ASADA/WADA testing about 12 months ago and yesterday makes it clear how ineffective it now is).

        or is it the firmly entrenched FFA integrity department? (given the AFL has had a dedicated department since 2008 and have monthly meetings with ASADA and police and even the AFL was shocked by the ACC intelligence).

        I’d suggest that your basis of confidence might not be as strong as you believe. And – even if at present the problem isn’t widespread – the clear point here is that moving forward that existing safeguards are not enough.

        • February 8th 2013 @ 11:34am
          Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          I would have to think that the sports with more money to throw at the 1%ers like your Collingwoods/Essendons and the bigger NRL/AFL clubs with their humungous spend on football departments would be much more likely to be caught up in any systematic drugs scandal going forward.
          HAL clubs already exist on the sniff of an oily rag, I can’t really imagine them committing to (expensive?) voodoo/cutting edge sports science to win a competition that doesn’t pay as well as other sports do.

          That’s not to say football should be breathing easy, just that I find it hard to imagine given the budgets of our 10 HAL teams.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 1:29pm
            Ian Whitchurch said | February 8th 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            Kasey,

            The “freelancer” scenario is more likely – lets say we have a kid that has come out of the lower leagues and turns in a bunch of excellent performances, becoming one of the best defenders in the league.

            Turns out he’s using adderall as a stimulant to stay sharp.

            Im talking about Brandon Browner of the Seattle Seahawks by the way.

            Alternatively, we have the injured aging champion, who takes a proscribed diuretic … perhaps as a masking agent to stop the steroids taken for injury recovery being detected. Im talking about Shane Warne.

            These are different from the alleged situation at Essendon, where club officials were apparently coordinating the doping.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 5:15pm
        AGO74 said | February 8th 2013 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

        By your logic of“just have a look at players“ to determine if they are using drugs,the sport of cycling and their super skinny competitors has nothing to worry about with drugs do they? Oh.

    • February 8th 2013 @ 9:38am
      c said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

      on the size of their muscles i guess we will all have to wait and see good luck with your lads

    • February 8th 2013 @ 9:41am
      Bunny Colvin said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      Am very concerned about the news that $40 million was recently wagered in Asia on an A-League match which was more than the big EPL game of that weekend.

      Just when Aussie soccer looks like it was home free too. One hurdle after another it seems. Just hoping it is a storm in a tea cup.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 10:21am
        Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        2 things Bunny:
        1. 40 million isn’t that much if it was spread over the various outcomes of the game. $40mil on the nose for a win would potentially be worrying, but $40mil over the large variety of betting options probably isn’t anything to be worried about.

        2.The Cricket Australia head James Sutherland and his Football Federation Australia counterpart David Gallop said their sports were not implicated in the report.
        Does this mean cricket and football fans have less to worry about? Somehow I doubt it, not when you read this from the same article:
        Legal constraints prevented the identification of any particular sport, teams or athletes, but Australia’s minister for justice, Jason Clare, emphasised that no code was immune. “The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans,” said Clare.
        –source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/feb/07/australian-doping-warning-uk-head

        • February 8th 2013 @ 10:49am
          Allanthus said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Kasey, you cannot be serious – $40m on a single HAL match, no matter how it is broken down, is a massive amount.

          • February 8th 2013 @ 11:46am
            Kickass Koala said | February 8th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            Bro its FOOTBALL, id be surprised if some asian bloke didnt plop 40 mil on a game a week …. This isnt just an Australian limited sport, its a sport loved by EVERY country in the world!

            Dont think the A League is invisible to the rest of the world, it isnt ….

          • Roar Guru

            February 8th 2013 @ 11:56am
            AndyRoo said | February 8th 2013 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            I really wanted to know more information about this but I guess we will never get it.

            How much is usually involved?

            What game was it?

            If it was a grand final that seems reasonable, if it was a mid week game between Wellington and Perth…..

            • Roar Guru

              February 8th 2013 @ 12:14pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              This $40m was the total betting pool with a legal Asian bookmaker.

              Now, let’s suppose, I had $40m ‘dirty money’ that I wanted to clean.

              Right now, AUFC v MVFC the odds are:
              Home: 2.9
              Draw: 3.5
              Away: 2.3

              Suppose I invested my $40m as follows:
              Home: $13m
              Draw: $11m
              Away: $16m

              Then, my returns are:
              Home: $37.7m
              Draw: $38.5m
              Away: $36.8m

              I’m guaranteed a return of $36.8m clean money to be returned from investing $40m dirty money. No match-fixing. Just ‘cleaning’ my money.

              That amounts to an 8% “fee” … which is a lot less than Prop Joe charged Marlo Stanfield when Spiro ‘The Greek’ wanted “clean notes” not “dirty money” 😉

              • February 8th 2013 @ 12:24pm
                Kasey said | February 8th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Which supports my assertion that $40mil isn’t really that much to drop on a game over the range of betting options.
                In a report devoid of juicy details and facts and high on innuendo, I think this has been pounced upon by journalists desperate for anything meaty and solid to sink their teeth into. No anti-football conspiracy, just human nature.

              • February 8th 2013 @ 3:24pm
                Nathan of Perth said | February 8th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                However, the $40m was part of a plunge, an anomalous hammering of one option over the others, which doesn’t sound like laundering…

              • Roar Guru

                February 8th 2013 @ 3:43pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                “the $40m was part of a plunge, ”

                We don’t know that at all. All that was reported was that the betting pool for 1 A-Leauge match was over $40m.

              • February 8th 2013 @ 6:21pm
                aubgraham said | February 8th 2013 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

                You want to clean $40 M and you decide to put it on an A-League match instead of EPL/NFL/NBA… To me that seems like head in the sand stuff.

                It is possible that this was simply an attempt to clean money but isn’t more probably that some sort of match fixing was involved. For example, pay the referee to call the game in one teams favour so that the ‘real’ odds for W/D/L are 1.8/3.1/4.7. If you bet 20/12/8 the profit is over $5M. Not only do you clean your money but you make a handsome profit. How many part-time referees would refuse 500K for the odd game?

                Are FFA paying enough to prevent such opportunities?

              • Roar Guru

                February 8th 2013 @ 6:28pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

                “You want to clean $40 M and you decide to put it on an A-League match instead of EPL/NFL/NBA… ”

                What difference – apart from ‘snob value’ – does it make where you gamble the money? Does the money feel better if was won on the Superbowl rather than the Cranbourne greyhounds?

                If I were in need of money-laundering, I’d look at any market that is open & capable of handling my transaction … and cost the least amount.

                I think people have been reading too many Grisham novels – to fix a sporting event requires, not just money but also, time to build & nurture relationships.

                An 8% fee to launder $40m … would be simple & done with the click of a button.

              • February 8th 2013 @ 6:57pm
                aubgraham said | February 8th 2013 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

                You missed the point. Throwing large amounts of money at an A-League game, where the pot would otherwise be small will arouse suspicion. You can clean that money by putting it a game where the same amount of money will appear much smaller and arouse far less suspicion. Nothing to do with snob value at all.

              • Roar Guru

                February 8th 2013 @ 7:10pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                @ aubgraham

                Yes, very good point.

                I was under the impression that any bet/transaction over a certain amount would be picked up by the regulators – regardless of the size of the market.

                I know in AUS any betting transaction over $10k would be automatically flagged by AUSTRAC.

              • February 8th 2013 @ 7:18pm
                aubgraham said | February 8th 2013 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

                I have to admit I haven’t had any need to clean money, but I don’t think the betting we are talking about is taking place on Australian shores.

                Not sure you would find any bookmakers at the Cranbourne greyhounds that would take on the bets needed to clean $40M.

                If I needed to weekly clean that sort of money using gambling in the above mentioned way then I would try to make regular bets on the same thing. To me, a ‘surge’ in betting action only make sense when someone thinks they have more information than the general market. And in sports, the most obvious extra information would be some type of match fixing.

        • February 8th 2013 @ 10:51am
          Ian Whitchurch said | February 8th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Kasey,

          Nope. A large amount of money on *that* match, or *that* race, or *that* option, and very little on others, is always a worry.

          • Roar Guru

            February 8th 2013 @ 11:08am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            If you review the stats from A-Leauge matches this season, you will understand why it is such a popular choice with gamblers. You may not get juicy odds, but it’s a good market for betting, based on the score at Half-Time.

            Yes, $40m is MASSIVE money for 1 A-League match. But, it does NOT prove match-fixing. Money launderers would be drawn to markets where they can “clean their money”, even if they take a small hit.

            • February 8th 2013 @ 1:01pm
              nickoldschool said | February 8th 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              That’s a good and fair point.

              On the other hand, I still think a league like the HAL where salaries are pretty low for international standards, could be at risk of having some players being approached and offered money to throw the match. For many Hal players a 10-20k offer to ‘not play at 100%’ or give a penalty etc, is a substantial amount of money given that many of the, do not earn that much.

              Have seen that in Europe before, nobodies in mid-bottom tables teams being approached this way (Eydelie and Glassman, Valenciennes vs Marseille in 1994)

            • February 8th 2013 @ 2:34pm
              Bunny Colvin said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

              Where the concern is, is why was this particular A-League match getting heavily wagered on unlike the usual EPL matches. Why all of a sudden is the interest in Australia’s little league?

              Blind man Freddie could tell you, someone had the word.

              Anyhow, the coppers are onto it and investigating. Hopefully it is only a couple of rogue individuals and not an entire club.

              • February 8th 2013 @ 2:59pm
                BigAl said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                Way before the A League, wagering on ALL Aus, results via ‘The Pools’ was huge in the UK.

              • Roar Guru

                February 8th 2013 @ 3:48pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 8th 2013 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                A few hours ago, the CEO of the FFA told ABC News that VicPol is not investigating any A-League matches for match-fixing.

                Why the A-league? Why not? It’s the perfect time-zone for Asian gamblers.

        • February 8th 2013 @ 11:44pm
          Adrian said | February 8th 2013 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

          40m would be on whats called the asian line, which is a hcp bet, and they way the asian bet on soccer

          and the 40m (by the soubds of it) would just be bet at the hong kong jockey club , as they are the only legal betting out fit in hong Kong…

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