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It’s a Fix?

I see that two Norfolk based MP’s are calling on the (English) FA to investigate match fixing allegations over a match earlier this month in which Derby County defeated Norwich City 2-1. These allegations centre on betting patterns in the far east. Apparently a lot of money went on Derby at half time in the game.

Football, or indeed any team game would be notoriously difficult to fix. However it has been proven to go on. The most notorious case was that of Peter Swan and Tony Kay who bet on their own Sheffield Wednesday side to lose at Ipswich in December 1963. Swan, and England international , was jailed for four months and banned for life from football. In the nineties there were serious allegations made over former Liverpool keeper Bruce Grobbelar, by that time at Southampton.

I have been at one game which was the centre of speculation. A few years ago my team Dumbarton had to get full points from a final day fixture against Raith Rovers in the Scottish second division. Raith had won the league by that time and had already beaten Sons three times home and away. Dumbarton won the game 4-1 thus saving their second division status. There was much talk after the game that the Raith side, made up largely of soccer mercenary types many of whom were playing their last game for the club, had thrown the match. I simply don’t know.

One I heard about directly was from someone I knew who played for Queen of the South in the 50’s and 60’s. John (for it was he) and his team mates had placed bets for a defeat on their meaningless end of the season game against a team well below them in the league. The whole team was in on the bet. Near the end of the game with the score at 0-1 John got the ball on the edge of the box and tried to mishit it out of the ground. Unfortunately for him he mishit the mishit and he launched a screamer which deflected off an opposition player and into the net. The game ended in a draw and the players lost their money.

I have no way of confirming if this story is true but it came from the horse’s (donkey’s?) mouth

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3 Responses

  1. Which probably confirms just how difficult it is to do.

  2. Raith had nothing to play for that day. In that context the result wasn’t surprising – only the margin.
    We had a similar result against Dundee Utd in the last game of the 1972-72 season, equally crucial. We won that 4-1 as well. The more surprising thing about that day was Kilmarnock lost a two goal lead against Falkirk when a win might have kept them up instead of us.
    We lost 3-0 at home to a relegation threatened Ayr when we had already been promoted to the Premier in 1984. Funny things happen at the ends of seasons sometimes.
    They might be dodgy but then again they might not.
    I’ll take 4-1 for us at Annan on 9/5/09 right now.

  3. I was at all the games you mention Jack. I remember Willie Wallace hitting the post with a penalty in the Dundee United game (I have a feeling the rebound was one of the goals). We deserved to stay up that season and the decisive game apart from the United one was a 4-2 victory over Killie

    The Ayr game was characterised by a hat trick from a rampant ‘Rambo’ aka Allan McInally as well as running battles between the fans.

    The Raith game I’m not sure about. Certainly Sons looked the much hungrier team on the day and there were bizarre touches like Raith faxing through their team selection in advance. However there was no concrete evidence.

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