“very, very unusual” betting…

The Irish Premier League will play out the final chapter in what has been a fascinating title race next Saturday, with Glentoran and Linfield maintaining hopes of claiming the top spot ahead of the final round of fixtures. Intriguingly, the Championship also appears destined to go to the wire, with a Suffolk Road encounter likely to determine whether or not Donegal Celtic or Portadown claim the automatic promotion spot and provide some clarity regarding whether or not a play-off fixture will need to take place.

However, the news that local bookmakers were reporting ‘unusual’ betting patterns ahead of this week’s games has caused a stir. A spokesperson for Toals claimed on Friday that there had been “very, very unusual” betting on a treble of victories for three teams in the Section B grouping of the Premier League, which had seen the odds slash from 16/1 to 4/1. All three teams proceeded to win their respective match on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Paddy Power bookmakers announced that they were suspending bets on matches not involving Linfield and Glentoran, though, importantly, a spokesperson added that this was not unusual and was common practice for fixtures in the lower divisions across the water at this stage of the season.
Of course, match-rigging is very difficult to prove, and the allegation can often be unfairly directed at individuals/ teams across any and every sport. In this case, the article concerned points out that end of season fixtures are notoriously difficult to predict for a variety of reasons: club managers can use the end of season fixtures to rest regular players and trial younger members of the squad, whilst some players may have their eye on Cup Finals and simply lack the motivation or desire to put their body on the line in a ‘meaningless’ game (as I’m reliably informed was clearly the case in the dreary north Belfast derby at Solitude yesterday.)
However, the IFA President, Raymond Kennedy, would appear to believe that this may not be a false alarm. Interviewed ahead of the fixtures, he claimed that the betting patterns suggest “there must be something going on” before suggesting that the Association could “take the line that teams can be told before kick-off tomorrow that we are aware of the situation and just to be watching their step.”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    What are we talking about here – £3.5.

    The sooner these funny ‘premier’ leagues – north and south are thrown into the bin and a proper league from both with a maximum of 6 teams – given birth to then soccerball might start going somewhere after decades of emabarassing failure with people having to go abroad to England and Scotland to find a decent team to support.

  • pól

    Sammy, do you regularly go to any LoI or IL match? The standard of football in the LoI is high. Rather than the teams or league structure being at fault for the perceived “poorness”, it’s actually the people who don’t bother there arses going and supporting their local team that are the problem – and in particular, everyone should point, laugh and ridicule all these republicans and nationalists who adore Liverpool and Manchester United, not to mention that shower of shite Celtic. And a six team league? Are you off your head? That’s such a bullshit post Sammy.

  • tally ho old boy fancy a spot of fox hunting

    Sammy, it’s all PBDC’s fault init? cos he’s well posh. [keep it civil – edited moderator]

    This ‘news’ was on the BBC site days ago. that lag is PBDC’s fault too – if it weren’t for him then Finn Harps would be playing Ballymena United in the champions league semi-final on Weds, and not Arse v Man Utd

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “Rather than the teams or league structure being at fault for the perceived “poorness”, it’s actually the people who don’t bother there arses going and supporting their local team that are the problem”

    Thats a bit like the shopkeeper blaming the shoppers for not buying his poor goods. Poor product no support.

    Look at how rugger-ball goes about its business and simply copy it – less means more. Two teams from Belfast, two from Dublin, one from Derry and one from Cork and thats your lot – less games, bigger crowds(afte the first few riots are sorted out) , higher standard and less people travelling to watch foreign teams.

    tally ho old boy fancy a spot of fox hunting,

    re. PBDC – Eton Wall Game anybody ? might have the edge on the funny ‘premier’ leagues.

  • pól

    Sammy, you really don’t have a clue. Fans of existing clubs would never support these new teams, and people from rural areas wouldn’t support them either. You are just talking unadulterated shite. The product in the LoI is good, much better than the vast majority of the SPL. Sammy, I’ll ask again, how many Irish football games have you been to? And when was the last time you were at a game?

  • the joxer

    This is a complete non-story and driven solely by Paddy Power’s cynical pursuit of free publiicity whilst besmirching the reputations of honest local players.

    The supposed basis for the scam was that money had been placed on Newry, Glenavon and Dungannon to win their games. So what? All 3 of these teams are fighting to avoid relegation and 2 of them were up against teams already safe from the drop. The third, Dungannon, was playing Bangor who are already consigned to relegation having revoked their licence.

    The money that went down on the treble was laid on the basis of astute selections by knowledgable punters and not due to any ‘match-fixing’scam.

    Anyone with a brain in their head could have cited the above explanation in defence of the honour of local players. That clearly ruled out Raymond Kennedy whose incredibly stupid reaction was to implicate the players he should be supporting , thus undermining his own position yet again.

  • stay away from Stuttgart

    aye you’d know nothing about ”besmirching the reputations of honest local” people now would you jox? spoken to paula bradshaw recently, not to mention the other contributors that you direct unfounded, petty little smears at when they don’t meet your standards of academic prowess? you little hypocrit

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I have no interest in going. You see it on telly and it fecking awful. Parks stuff with attitude. If its poor its poor – and the results show its shite. People dont watch it because its crap – complaining about the supporters is just plain silly.

    re. “Fans of existing clubs would never support these new teams, and people from rural areas wouldn’t support them either”

    If it is a good standard people will go – they go to fecking Scotland – were not talking huge distances here – a couple of hours from the nearest team.

    Sooner or later the whole lot will deservedly go in the bin and they will start again – the sooner the better – for everyone – except of course Rangers, Celtic, Man U, Liverpool and sundry other foreign teams.

  • the joxer

    Thank you for that incisive, relevant and useful contribution to the thread from the last contributor.

  • the joxer

    Sorry, Sammy.My above post was directed against my resident stalker and troll who enhanced the quality of the discussion with Post #7.

  • pól

    [i]I have no interest in going. You see it on telly and it fecking awful. Parks stuff with attitude. If its poor its poor – and the results show its shite. People dont watch it because its crap – complaining about the supporters is just plain silly.[/i]

    Says it all there Sammy. You see 10 minutes of highlights of the IL on Newsline and form opinions on that. Super stuff Sammy. This post makes everything you say on the subject irrelevant and absolutely uninformed. Look at the amount of people here who support Leeds United. They are playing in League 1 in England, and are pure shite.

    I think if you went to a match yo might change your mind. Who’s your closest team? I’d be more than willing to take you along to the Brandywell Friday week, and I guarantee you’ll have a class time and get to see some decent football, with fans who actually properly care and have a say about their club.

  • stay away from Stuttgart

    please, don’t flatter yourslef jox with this ‘stalker’ nonsense. your attack on bradshaw was typical and was rightly criticised very strongly at the time and yet no apology was forthcoming. it’s typical of your modus operandi regarding people who you disagree with: cheap shot them with an unsubstantiated, personal slur, which also has nothing to do with the topic, then you disappear into the background. you’re an inarticulate bully, simple as.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Derry is a prime example of a club that would benefit from a 6 team proper league – but I will admit I may have gotten a bit carried away with my own rhetoric – as Derry, although they play in a funny (ie crap) league, do just about everything right in their efforts to maximise their potential and Derry especially should be pushing for a proper league to play in.

  • joeCanuck

    end of season fixtures are notoriously difficult to predict

    Something smells here. When did bookmakers start trying to predict outcomes of sporting events?
    Have they truly abandoned the time honoured and extremely profitable method of taking the bets and then adjusting the odds so that whoever wins they still make a profit?

  • the joxer

    We shouldn’t be surprised that Bookmakers want it every way and that they don’t mind blackening the name of the local game in the process. The real issue is the IFA President’s feeble response to the unsubstantiated allegations when he took the side of the Bookies against his own association’s players.

  • oneill

    The Joxer

    Raymond Kennedy, who is president of the Irish Football Association, said the betting patterns suggested that “there must be something going on”.

    If I had been him, I would have said something along the lines of:
    “It certainly seems unusual, we’ll be investigating further”.
    Not Raymondo, instead he’s activated his well-tuned sense of intuition and decided “something’s going on.” Yep, there is something going on, money on trebles. And unless he has evidence to the contrary, that’s all we and he knows.

    I don’t know who’s the greatest danger to our survival on the international stage- our legion of detractors and detesters or the muppets currently running the IFA

  • the joxer

    Indeed O’Neill-I know Jim Boyce wasn’t perfect but Kennedy is a woeful President in comparison.

    Personally I thought that Boyce was a very good ambassador for the IFA and he seems to be still held in high regard by his colleauges in UEFA.

  • paddyjoe

    found this hilarious. johnny hero telling everyone to go watch irish league football cuz its the best. and then i walk into my corner shoplast thursday and was told to do dungannon, newry and glenavon.16/1 yer money. i laughed at the time but the guy who told me had £30 on it. £510 he lifted. whos laughing now. NOW IF THAT ISNT CORRUPT, IM A MONKEYS BROTHER IN LAW LOL

  • joeCanuck

    So, we’re expected to believe that some gambling coupmeister has the knowledge and influence to corrupt 3, maybe 6, football teams, or would that be just 3 referees? Then, being so brilliant, he told his brother-in-law who told his second cousin who told his drinking buddies etc… you get the idea.
    BTW, didn’t the odds drop to 4/1? And, if there is any suspicion of hanky-panky the bookies just won’t pay out. You do know that gambling debts are not recoverable through the courts which is why some very heavy set men are sometimes employed in that “industry.

    Hehe; code word is “money””.

  • blinding

    The Island of Ireland needs a premier league of 10/12 teams.

    If this evolved into a Celtic league like the magners league in time well and good but one step at a time.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Split the differnce 8? There are enough funny out of season tournaments going on that they could attach to and they could probably start the new league off by giving birth to another tournmanet based on invites to Scanders, Belgers etc.

  • Frank


    I’m not sure why you are blaming Kennedy on this one. Surely the blame lies with players, referee’s, administrators or whoever, is trying to fix games.

    This happens almost every year in the IFA league. Allegations of match fixing and suspended betting occured last year, 2007, 2006 etc…

    I recall bookmakers claiming that ‘runners’ were being used by organised gangs to place bets in betting shops around the city.

    Its hardly all Kennedy’s fault that corruption and match fixing allegations seem to be a regular part of the Irish league.

  • OC

    Some very sophisticated Las Vegas sports bettors have set up shop in RoI, in more ways than one perhaps.

    Run out of the Big Apple by local vice squad harrassment, they upped the ante in Sin City, where smart gambling t’aint no state felony.

    A very good handicapper, a mini-call centre, and some just-in-time legerdemain, made them a boodle of Dead Presidents before the Feds shut them down, although they were never indicted.

    Now, they’re making the green in the Emerald Isle.

    I’m just glad that they aren’t playing the stock exchange, or are they?