Sutton United’s 46 year old, 23 stone reserve goalkeeper could be in big trouble.
Wayne Shaw, who has become somewhat of a cult hero during the non-league club’s FA Cup run, may have broken Football Association regulations on gambling in last night’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Shaw, an unused substitute on the night, was spotted in the bar at half-time, and even devoured a pie in the home dugout during the second half, much to the delight of those watching the game at home on TV.
It has since emerged that betting outlet Sun Bets were offering 8-1 odds on Shaw eating a pie “live on air” during the clash at Gander Green Lane, and the bizarre incident has caused the Gambling Commission to open an investigation
The FA gambling restrictions are rigorous, and the rules state that a player should not “instruct, permit, cause or enable” any person to bet the “result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.
Sutton manager Paul Doswell wasn’t impressed with his goalkeeper’s antics, and did not mince his words after the game.
“I think Wayne has become this global superstar on the back of being 23 stone. He’s made that a chance to make some more media coverage off the back of it,” he said.
“The reality is I don’t know [if Shaw did it for a bet] but it wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think it shows us in the best light.”
However, the goalkeeper denies any wrongdoing, and says the incident was “a bit of banter”.
“A few of the lads said to me earlier on: ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie? I said: ‘I don’t know, I’ve eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on,’” he said.
“As I say what is that, Sun Bets had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.”
Shaw was then asked whether he knew of anyone betting on the incident.
“I think there were a few people. Obviously we [Sutton’s players] are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans.
“It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”
The magic of the cup eh?