Rank hypocrisy barely does this story justice. At least four footballers tested positive for recreational drugs since May 2015.
Hull’s Jake Livermore, Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey, Sheffield United striker Jose Baxter and Saido Berahino were suspended from their clubs after failing tests for recreational drugs. They still have jobs today with Baxter set to rejoin Everton when his ban ends in the summer.
Joey Barton has been charged by the FA with misconduct after placing 1,260 bets on football matches over the last decade. Yes, he lost his job at Rangers but is still in employment with Premier League side Burnley.
Last night, the FA’s betting partners were offering 23 markets on the match between Truro and Gosport.
Yesterday, Shaw, who slept on a sofa at Sutton United three nights a week so he could maintain the club’s facilities, was asked to resign from his role as reserve-team goalkeeper, groundsman, President of the Community team, disabled teams and women’s team because he had eaten a pie while standing in the dug-out in the 83rd minute of their FA Cup match against Arsenal.
Wayne Shaw was forced to resign as Sutton's reserve-team goalkeeper for eating a pie against Arsenal
There is no evidence so far that Shaw placed money on his own non-football related bet. Nor is there any evidence that the portion of baked goods in question was not steak and kidney but cocaine and ecstasy instead. Still, today he is unemployed.
“The reality is that what happened last night didn’t make us look particularly good,” said Sutton manager Paul Doswell, referring not to the cringeworthy circus of back-slapping, glad-handing and starry-eyed selfies that took place beforehand but the eating of a pie.
“It has taken the gloss off the performance for my players. It’s very sad that the spotlight has been taken away from them,” said Doswell.
Perhaps never will you read such wallowing tosh.
As the story goes, prior to the match taking place, a bookmaker had offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the game.
Jake Livermore was suspended for taking cocaine whilst he was at Hull
Shaw hoovering the dugout before Sutton's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal
Arsenal fans get defensive after Gunners leave Sutton changing room in a state
Tue, February 21, 2017
Arsenal fans have got riled up on Twitter after images emerge of the away dressing room at Sutton United after the Gunners' 2-0 FA Cup Fifth Round victory
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Arsenal fans get defensive after images of the Gunners' changing room emerge
Of course, this has the FA and the Gambling Commission’s blood boiling – baking even – at Gas Mark 12.
The FA’s betting rules state : “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.” Strictly speaking, they could punish Shaw for breach of the aspect concerning 'conduct' during a match.
But surely the real issue, on the face of the information Sutton have released, is the club’s nose has been put out of joint.
They wanted the limelight. For all intents and purposes, they got it and then some. The entire non-League scene has barely had publicity like it. It has raised the profile ten-fold.
Shaw got some publicity too. Sutton do not like it. He loses his job. Perhaps it is Sutton United’s response to this which has “not made us look particularly good”.