U.K.-based bookmaker Paddy Power is making headlines again after paying out bettors a total of £3,500 on an unusual prop on Sunday.
The punters phoned in and asked to make bets – and were granted them at 100-1 odds – that Chelsea defender John Terry would be substituted between 26:00 and 26:59 of his team’s fixture against Sunderland.
Terry was indeed substituted within the time frame which was pre-planned by Chelsea to honor Terry’s No. 26.
And that’s why I call it fixedball, folks.
Paddy Power paid out the wagers but now the Football Association indicated Sunday night that it is looking into the integrity of the wagers through the sports betting intelligence unit of the Gambling Commission.
I call B.S. on this B.S. Of course it was fixed. Everybody knows it.
But Paddy Power chose to take the bets and nobody got more stung than they did. To give credit to the book, they aren’t complaining about it, at least not publicly.
“We thought maybe 10-1, 15-1 at most as there was a precedent set (by Drogba’s substitution),” said a bettor who placed a £25 bet over the phone with Paddy Power. “I consider myself relatively lucky.”
The bettor is referring to a similar stunt that Chelsea and Didier Drogba pulled in 2015 when the team carried Drogba off after 28 minutes in his final match. It was a pre-planned substitution, also against Sunderland.
I’m not sure these bettors had inside knowledge that Chelsea was going to pull off this fantastic move again but we can’t be surprised here. This is a guy who has a Bleacher Report piece written about him entitled “John Terry: The Chelsea Captain’s 10 stupidest acts” and the author may have had trouble narrowing down the list.
Regardless of whether they knew or not, this bet is totally fixed and it serves as Exhibit eleventy million why I quit betting on this sport long ago.
Gotta applaud the bettors for their work here and I’m sure books won’t offer odds so generous when the phone rings next time a Chelsea legend is set to retire.
Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark