1915 british football betting scandal
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1915 british football betting scandal

The Football League started investigating. Two weeks on, it was noted that a suspiciously large number of bets had been placed on United winning So much so, that the initial starting price of on a win was backed right into The whole scenario was beginning to reek of match fixing. The investigations by the Football League dragged on just as they do a century later!

The players involved were vilified by the commission and were set to face the consequences. It is almost incredible that players dependent on the game for their livelihood should have resorted to such base tactics. The investigative panel found that Sheldon had met with team-mates Bob Pursell, Tom Miller and Thomas Fairfoul at a Manchester pub to concoct the plan.

These bans remain the most severe administered by the Football League to date. It was suggested by the commission that the best way for the players could earn favor and potentially have their expulsions overturned would be to join the armed forces. So what became of the disgraced players? Six of the eight players heeded the advice of the panel and went on to serve their country in the Great War. Their bans were overturned in in recognition of their services to their country and they all went on to play again.

But for two of those players involved, the tale turned sour. After numerous hearings and court battles, West did manage to clear his name in By that time however, he was 59 years old and chose to have no further involvement in the game. But the most tragic segment of the whole affair is the story of Sandy Turnbull.

Liverpool scarcely ever gave the impression that they would be likely to score. Bookmakers had laid odds up to against United winning and a suspiciously large number of bets had been made on that very scoreline causing the odds to shorten to The two points United "earned" from that game were enough to earn them 18th place and safety, one point ahead of 19th-placed Chelsea, who were nominally relegated. The investigation dragged on in the latter half of when players who took part in the game were interviewed one after another.

Some papers suggested despite the fact that several bookmakers were badly hit by the scoreline it was a pure coincidence and foul play among the players could not be proven. On 27th November "Wanderer" in the Manchester Cronicle claimed after having talked to several players who had just given evidence "there is reason to believe the inquiry has taken a very serious turn. It has been stated, I believe, and with some pretence to authority that the whole thing would end in smoke and that no suspensions would follow — that the indictment would be found not proven.

That is not my information. Every opportunity has been given to the players to tell the truth, but although they were warned that we were in possession of the facts some have persistently refused to do so, thus revealing a conspiracy to keep back the truth. It is almost incredible that players dependent on the game for their livelihood should have resorted to such base tactics.

By their action they have sought to undermine the whole fabric of the game and discredit its honesty and fairness. The honesty and uprightness of the game must be preserved at all costs, and although we sympathise greatly with the clubs, who are bound to suffer seriously, we feel that we have no alternative but to impose the punishments which the players have been warned over and over again would be imposed. There are grave suspicions that others are also involved, but as the penalty is severe we have restricted our findings to those as to whose offence there is no reasonable doubt.

Assuming I return safely from this country I intend taking action against my suspension. Sheldon told the court that he convinced his team mates to play along and had met with United players: West, Turnbull and Whalley to decide the outcome of , with one goal scored either side of half time. Pagnam threatened to score in the game despite threats from the ringleaders. Ephraim Longworth and Donald MacKinlay both testified that they had been aware of the plot, but like Pagnam refused to take part.

John McKenna, the chairman of Liverpool from and current director of the club as well as being the chairman of the Football League admitted he had been in an awkward position in this whole matter: "I created the Commission which sat upon the case and so long as the party was found guilty of an offence there could be but one decision — they had to be ousted from the game of football.

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The British football betting scandal occurred when a Football League First Division match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on 2 April (Good . May 11,  · The British football betting scandal occurred when a Football League First Division match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on 2 April . In British football betting scandal on , Not Found; In British football betting scandal on , Not Found--JeffGBot , 2 .