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Financial Integrity, Football, Moral Integrity

Dual Ownership: Which has more potential conflict of interest – Owning two football clubs or One club and one betting agency?

McAnally betdaq ambassador Celtic

In a previous post from 2 years ago I highlighted how Scottish football authorities accepted the conflict of interest of Dermot Desmond controlling/owning both a betting company, Betdaq, and a football club, Celtic FC. This was even the case in July 2011 when Betdaq was declared a Rogue operator by Australian media for taking bets on Australian sporting events without a licence. So while UEFA’s main concern was the influence of matchfixing detracting from the integrity of it’s competitions, one of the Scottish teams was controlled by a person whose betting company was accepting bets on his team competing in the Champions League and UEFA cup/Europa League.

Dermot Desmond gained control of Celtic when Fergus McCann sold his shares in 1999. Betdaq according to Wikipedia was launched in 2000 and retained by Mr Desmond until sold in February 2013 to Ladbrokes.

So that was 13 years one of the main football teams in Scotland was owned and controlled by the owner of a betting company and the SFA and SPFL/SPL did not bat an eyelid. Such is the manipulation at the heart of Scottish football that this conflict of interest lasted for 13 years and was only erased last year.

BETDAQ declared the official online betting partner of Celtic Football Club

Again under the wikipedia entry it says ‘In July 2011, BETDAQ became the official online betting partner of Celtic Football Club’. This alone demonstrates the bias of the SFA that the conflict of interest had continued for 11 years then Celtic felt open enough to make Betdaq their ‘official online betting partner’. Alan McInally in the picture above announcing the sponsorship for the 2011-12 season. 

In fact Betdaq still operate their ‘Back the Bhoys’ link

SFA rules prevent Dual Interest in Clubs but not owning/controlling a Club and a Betting company

The SFA Dual Interest rules were introduced into the Articles of Association on the 7th June 2011 under Article 13 just the month before Celtic had Alan McInally at Celtic Park to announce the Betdaq sponsorship as ‘official online betting partner’.

Those rules are still there in the SFA Handbook for 2014-15 season still under Article 13 of the Articles of Association.

So Mike Ashley would be ok if he didn’t own Newcastle United but did own Ladbrokes, William Hill or any other bookie that are controlled offshore in tax havens like Ireland or Gibraltar for tax & regulation minimisation.

The SFA’s rules are a farce because there is a higher likelihood of a conflict of interest arising and corruption occurring due to matchfixing from owning a football team and having a betting company (with no visibility to footballing authorities) than having two football clubs in separate open transparent leagues that have very little possibility in the near future of meeting. This is Risk Analysis 101 yet completely beyond the SFA.

However the SFA allowed the riskier case to occur and remain for 13 years. And it’s still the case. Such is their stewardship of the game in Scotland.

©footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com 2014  CC-by icon

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