Everton’s change of heart regarding betting companies | Soccer


Everton have long been renowned as a homely, traditional club – and not just because they aren’t Liverpool. Whether it’s rickety, atmospheric Goodison Park with its playing of Z-Cars before every game, a mid-80s run of banging kits, or the cutesy way Everton fans describe themselves, not as “Everton fans” but as “Evertonians”, there’s something special and unique about the residents of Stanley Park North. The Fiver is choking up!

But wherever there’s feeling there’s a suit converting it into coin, and sure enough, Everton have just signed a sponsorship deal with a gambling company. Or, as the Toffees’ Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale put it, “an ambitious organization with impressive growth plans”. For reasons known best to herself, she left “to take even more money from even more people” in unspoken parentheses, but the next time she or one of her lackeys rolls out the “People’s Club” moniker, that’ll be what they mean .

Nor did the Prof – honorary, visiting, six years ago – finish there. Rather, she fawningly thanked the aforementioned gambling company for their benevolence in “choosing Everton as a long-term partner”, before presumably hopping on one leg and barking like a dog. Who says romance is dead?

The strange thing is, back in 2020 Everton were involved with a different gambling company – one involved in the devastating epidemic of gambling addiction among young people in Kenya. Following but not because of protests from fans, the club brought the deal to an early conclusion, and the Prof – who, before her promotion, ran Everton’s community programme! – Acknowledged that deals with betting companies were suboptimal. Yet, here we are again – because, we’re informed, the commercial reality of competing in the Premier League demands it. Which is to say that the deal is worth £10m and Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s owner, is worth around £2.5bn. The Fiver is choking up again.


“The first had gone for £320, and then prices had increased with each [one] – £340, £420, £440 and then £460. But Lot 7248 seemed to linger on £280. She was going once, going twice and in a few split seconds some romantic, foolish instinct struck me. It believed that £300 would not be so much for something so magical. A few minutes later, I phoned my wife” – Daniel Gray bought a York City turnstile at auction. He explains why it’s the best £300 he’s ever spent.

Cat not included. Photograph: Daniel Gray/Nutmeg


“Just recently spent a holiday in the UK and having obtained tickets for the NUFC v Arsenal game, hoped to meet Malcolm Macdonald as he does a chat segment in the Dog and Parrot near the ground. We arrived early and saw that interest had fallen off, and he was leaving. Now, having played this glorious game since childhood until retiring at 60, with numerous red cards to my eternal credit, and a testament to my limited abilities, it was great to use those skills to simply force my way through assorted Geordies, make a shirt grab on him that would have had Allan Hunter smiling, and pull him back into the bar to tell him how much he meant to me. He could not have been more gracious despite the ominous looks from his minder. This is not in reference to any previous letter from any of the 1,057 pedants out there, but just that sometimes meeting your heroes can be everything you have ever wanted” – Brian Robson.

“At the end of March, the Republic O’Ireland were celebrating a draw against Belgium’s reserves, new optimism and extending Stephen Kenny’s contract. Less than three months on, they’ve just lost to a Ukraine team that made 10 changes and are bottom of a Nations League group consisting of the aforementioned Ukraine, Scotland and Armenia, while Kenny has a win ratio of 20% compared with his predecessor Mick McCarthy’s 50%. The key question is, who is the fool: the fool or the fool that gives the fool a contract extension?” – Noble Francis.

Oh O'Ireland.
Oh O’Ireland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inhpo/Rex/Shutterstock

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is… Brian Robson.


Get your ears around the latest Football Weekly Extra. And while we’re at it, Max, Barry and the pod squad are shortly going back on tour. The last remaining tickets to live shows in June and July are available here.

Can we tempt you with these special guests?
Can we tempt you with these special guests? Composite: Guardian


Paris police chief Didier Lallement says he may have been wrong when he said up to 40,000 Liverpool fans tried to enter the game against Real Madrid with fake tickets and that there was no scientific evidence to support the claim.

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has denied that payments to Michel Platini he approved were fraudulent, telling a Swiss court: “It was an agreement between two sportsmen. I found nothing wrong with that.” Ah yes, memories of Sepp the sportsman.

In low-key Nations League news, Scotland are basking in the glow of a 2-0 win over Armenia, while Wales are still basking in the glow of Human Rights World Cup qualification despite a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands.

Jack Grealish has taken up a role as ambassador for Special Olympics GB. “I’ve been thinking for some time about how I can best use the football platform has given me to create a positive change, and it had to be really something close to my heart,” he said.

Yes, Jack.
Yes, Jack. Photograph: Special Olympics GB/PA

liverpool came Este close to signing Rodrygo for £3m in 2017, according to former Santos assistant Elano. “[The club president] wanted to sell Rodrygo but I insisted and he got my point and stopped the negotiations for him. Everyone won,” he cheered, “except me because I was fired months later by the new president.” oh

Sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe shi… yes, Gennaro Gattuso is back in the game, this time as Valencia manager.

Norwich City have been criticized for their Pride Month project and asked to apologize by fan group Proud Canaries, after the campaign featured a wall with homophobic slurs. “That error of judgment was compounded exponentially with the launch tweet, ironically stating ‘that this language is not OK’ – while platforming it,” read a Proud Canaries statement.

Ed Sheeran will continue his sponsorship of Ipswich’s shirts for next season.

He's not Freddie Ladapo, but still.
He’s not Freddie Ladapo, but still. Photograph: LD Communications/PA

And four South African fourth-tier teams have been banned for life over some remarkable match-fixing, in which Shivulani Dangerous Tigers snuck past Kotoko Happy Boys 33-1 and Matiyasi FC edged out Nsami Mighty Birds 59-1. “These people don’t have respect for football, and we cannot allow it to happen again,” Vincent Ramphago told the BBC. After all that, fourth-placed Gawula Classic were crowned winners.


Find someone who looks at you the way Sachin Nakrani looks at Divock Origi.

That goal against Everton.  That goal against Everton.  And that goal against Everton.
that goal against Everton. that goal against Everton. and that goal against Everton. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/Rex/Shutterstock

Paul MacInnes catches up with Crawley Town’s “crypto bros”.

'We want to offer unprecedented access to local as well as remote fans and technology gives us that ability to do it in a way that hasn't been done before.'  Hasn't been done before, you say …
‘We want to offer unprecedented access to local as well as remote fans and technology gives us that ability to do it in a way that hasn’t been done before.’ Hasn’t been done before, you say … Photograph: James Boardman/Alamy Live News

And if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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