Saints were sinners; former captain reveals Southampton’s Premier League betting scam
A former Southampton captain has revealed how he and his team-mates would work with opponents to ensure they won big bets on Premier League games they played in.
Rumours about footballers betting on certain events, like throw-ins and corners, have been rife in the game for years but up until now no pro had ever admitted that it went on.
In fact, the nearest we came was former Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier confessing that he once tried to engineer a throw-in in the first minute against Wimbledon to collect a bet but he instead found a team-mate with his pass. The one-time England man said he never tried ‘spread-betting’ again.
Now, a former team-mate of Le Tiss, Norwegian defender Claus Lundekvam, has said that similar bets were placed “almost every week”.
The 39-year-old has now explained just how widespread the practice was in the Premier League during the mid to late 1990s.
“For a while we did this almost every week,” he says in today’s Irish Sun. “We made a fair bit of money. We could make deals with the opposing captain about, for example, betting on the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or a penalty.
“Those were the sorts of thing we had influence over.”
It never went any further than those ‘novelty bets’, according to Lundekvam, and although they would stake thousands on some of these wagers, actual results were not gambled on.
“The results were never on the agenda. That is something I would never have done. We were professional competitors. Even though what we did, of course, was illegal, it was just a fun thing.”
And Lundekvam is also clear that it wasn’t just common practice at the Dell.
“I know it happened at other clubs as well,” he says.
So what do you reckon, harmless fun or an issue that requires investigation?