In a recent investigation, questions have arisen regarding the Football Association’s (FA) handling of football club owners involved in betting, in light of the betting controversy surrounding Brentford owner, Matthew Benham.
The focus of this controversy is Matthew Benham, the owner of Premier League club Brentford FC, and the alleged double standards surrounding his betting activities.
The investigation reveals that Benham may have benefited from bets placed in his own name through a UK-based gambling syndicate called MSPP Admin. This has raised concerns about the FA’s policies regarding football club owners who have financial interests in betting companies.
The FA’s rules prohibit anyone involved in football from betting on any match globally, with strict penalties for violations, as evidenced by the eight-month suspension of Brentford’s star striker, Ivan Toney. However, a select group of club owners, including Benham, have had opaque arrangements with the FA that allow them to be involved in betting.
Benham’s involvement with MSPP Admin, a London-based betting company, has come under scrutiny. The evidence suggests that he may have placed bets in his own name, raising questions about compliance with FA policies. While Benham’s spokesperson asserts his compliance with FA rules and regular audits, the specifics of his involvement remain unclear.
This controversy has prompted calls for transparency from the FA regarding its policies for club owners with betting interests. Clive Betts MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on football, questions the secrecy surrounding these policies and emphasizes the need for transparency and integrity in the sport.
The FA updated its betting rules in 2014 to prevent corruption and protect the game’s integrity, but the specific policy for betting bosses who own football clubs remains undisclosed.