Remember the Embassy?
Mark Coton wonders if bookmaker sponsorship will make the same sharp exit as the tobacco giants that bankrolled many sports decades ago
Not the biggest news item of the day by any means, but the revelation that the Football Association has parted company with “official betting partner” Ladbrokes could have ramifications beyond the torn up small print of a contract reportedly worth £4m.
The minds at the FA aren’t renowned for their sharpness, but even they could deduce there might be a conflict of interest for the game in continuing arm-in-corporate-arm with a big bookmaker after the recent decision to hand an 18-month ban to player Joey Barton due to his revealed propensity for a flutter on the football.
How long before other organisations begin to question associations with the bookmaking industry,including the many Premier League clubs with shirt sponsorship and other tie-ins?
Sponsorship income from bookmakers is reportedly worth in excess of £500m a year, so there is plenty of slack to cut, but the same once applied to the now-toxic tobacco sector.
How long before the bookmakers’right to advertise on national television also comes into question?
Their ugly and often derisory contributions have been soiling the sector for more than a decade,ever since Tony Blair released a powerful genie from the bottle in the Gambling Act 2005 as part of a wide-ranging process of deregulation in the gambling sector, the implications of which are becoming now visible for all to see.
Those long-seasoned in the betting game will be aware that when you believe you are onto a sure thing, when you “can’t see beyond” a given outcome, it is time to raise the binoculars in order to assess the troubles which are gathering on the near horizon.
It looked a 1.01 shot in running for Mrs May,a couple of weeks back,but it wasn’t.
Today I’m struggling to“get away”from Caravaggio in the Commonwealth Cup (3.40).
Seldom has a sprinter made as powerful an impression as last year’s Coventry winner did on his reappearance at Naas. What can touch him today? Yet opinions come easy. Let’s try to bring some of that seasoning to bear.
It shouldn’t come down to your opinion for one thing, what you happen to fancy without due process, an appropriate adherence to method, or numbers, the necessary grid in which speculation can be curtailed, before you begin to read between the lines. And then there is the question of price. The vexed subject of value. Much has been spoken on the subject across the years, with all manner of theories advanced then quickly forgotten,but its essential contribution is to undercut opinion. Yes, you can’t see beyond this horse. This outcome. You’re itching to play. To get involved. But it’s even money, or thereabouts. In an 12-runner, Group One race, in which almost all the cards are laid on the table. Almost certainly the market has it right. There isn’t an edge. It will probably win and it will hurt if it wins and you haven’t backed it (though not as much as it will if you wade in, and it gets beat.)
Of course you “can’t see” it getting beaten, but what does it matter what you can or cannot see?