THE RAITH ROVERS MATCHES FIXING BETTING PROBE SCANDAL
Turnbull Hutton the Raith Rovers Chairman was always very outspoken on the Rangers saga, but he wasn’t so unspoken about the betting scandal probe that engulfed his club in the middle of the last decade.
BETTING SCANDAL? I hear you say as you sit forward in your seat dear reader surely not? Not that moral bastion of invincibility Raith Rovers with the pious Saint Turnbull of Hutton in charge could never be involved in a betting scandal probe.
and you would be right to a certain point………….
they were involved in TWO!
When the said betting probes first broke Raith Rovers Chairman Turnbull Hutton wasnt his normal outspoken self. When he was doorstepped by press chairman Turnbull Hutton told the papers ‘I’m not interested. Thanks all the same. Thank you.’
As the pressure mounted the Raith chairman Turnbull Hutton changed his tune saying
“We will assist all parties with whatever investigations are required.” and also
“We’ve got no evidence here at this time. If there’s any wrong-doing in the club then we will act – but what we will not do is act on rumour, innuendo and hearsay. We will be speaking to everybody within the club asking them if they know anything about this. We will assess what the various people say and then respond to the SFL. If people think there is going to be a witch hunt then they are wrong.”
The alleged witch hunt eventually led Turnbull Hutton to resign his post as Chairman of Raith Rovers
Whether he said this ranting and raving like some sort of pious saint trying to pull down the temple of Hampden from its steps as he did on other matters this can neither be confirmed or denied.
What can be confirmed is he was alot more defensive of Raith Rovers from witch hunts than he was of Rangers
The first Raith Rovers match to be investigated was a meaningless match Raith Rovers had against Ayr United. which Ayr United won with the winning goal was scored by Andy Ferguson in the 40th minute.
A WHOPPING £250,000 was staked on Ayr United winning the meaningless match against Raith Rovers. Bookmakers across Europe were stung for at least £500,000 in the unprecedented coup.
To use a comparison from Scottish football An Old Firm match normally attracts £1million in bets worldwide. So you can see why suspicions were aroused.
Every penny of the £250,000 staked was for a home win for relegated First Division side Ayr and at least two senior backroom figures at Raith were questioned over the bets at the time.
Peter Donald the Scottish Football League secretary at the time said:
‘We are awaiting further information from the bookmaking industry on the betting patterns. We’re waiting on their advice and guidance. ‘Our inquiries into this matter are ongoing. We will have discussions with representatives of Raith before we reach any conclusions.’
SFL chief Donald has asked the Association of British Bookmakers to investigate.
William Hill took the largest hammering because they were offering the biggest price at 13/10 on a United victory. A spokesman said:
‘We took individual bets of up to £5000 on Ayr. ‘There was one bet of £5000 in a Glasgow shop and another of £4500 in another branch in the city. ‘We lost a five-figure sum on the game. But we are big bookmakers and we take big bets. ‘We didn’t take it lying down. We reduced the odds to 10/11 on Ayr. If you happen to know that someone who is placing a bet has a connection with one of the teams involved it is possible that the bet would be refused.’ “It would be fair to say we took quite a substantial turnover with that match and an overwhelming amount was on Ayr winning.”We shortened the odds from 13/10 to 10/11 as a result of the money we took and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Ironically the Single bets of £5000 and £4500 that were laid on the game at Somerset Park, those actual single bets were bigger than the amount of fans that watched the game. Just 1283 fans turned out.
A spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers, which first alerted the SFL, said
“There were more bets than we would have expected on that type of low grade match.”If it had been a Premier League match or a match in the Premiership then we would have expected to see similar betting.”Considering it was an end of season game we didn’t expect to see the activity we did.”
A spokesman for Coral said:
‘There was an unusually strong support in a game of that nature and all the money was for Ayr.’
Glasgow bookmaking chain William King eventually stopped taking bets on the game. A spokesman said:
‘There were people running around all six of our betting shops putting on bets at £200 a hit. ‘Eventually, we shut the book. ‘It wasn’t only bets on Ayr but also on East Stirling who also won and prior to that they hadn’t won a game all season.’
Unusually for Ladbrokes, The recent whistleblowers in betting scandals, who had Ayr at 5/4 to win, said they didn’t record any unusual betting pattern on the game. hmmmm everyone else seemed to notice.
Irish betting giants Paddy Power only accept multiple bets of trebles and upwards on games in the Scottish lower divisions. A spokesman said:
‘Because we only take multiple bets we didn’t lose a lot of money. ‘But we do observe what is happening and saw there was a move for Ayr, so we reduced their odds from 11/8 to 11/10. ‘With that pattern, I’m sure we would have seen a lot of action as well if we took single bets.’
A huge army of punters across Europe also laid bets of £200 each on the outcome.
Internet betting sites and bookies in Gibraltar were also taken for a small fortune. I wonder if Celtic Owner Dermot Desmond Gibraltar based betting company was one?
A senior source within Raith Rovers at the time when the Betting scandal broke said:
“We are awaiting the outcome of the bookies association investigation and questions are also being asked here of various people. ‘These people may not have done anything wrong legally but morally it’s inexcusable. If it was an orchestrated bet ring, then that would be illegal. ‘We shall have to wait and see which it was. One thing’s for sure, it’s uncanny that all those people lumped on Ayr to win that day.’
The second RAITH ROVERS match being investigated by League bosses and Betting probe authorities focused on were bets which correctly predicted Raith’s draw against St Mirren at odds of around 2-1.
The draw was achieved after a 62nd-minute header by Raith’s Sebastian Ferrero cancelled a Kirk Broadfoot opener on 25 minutes.
The Raith Rovers Players and directors had to be told to sign legal forms permitting Scottish Football League officials to ask bookmakers if they placed bets on Raith games.
It allowed the SFL to ask bookmakers if bets have been placed in a certain person’s name.
At the time Bookmakers are not allowed to say who placed bets without the agreement of punters. Now I dont know if that rule had changed during the Ian Black affair or maybe the Celtic supporting Ladbroke employee didnt care a jot about breaking those rules and the law under the data protection act.
A Raith Rovers insider at the time told a national paper:
‘There are doubts about the St Mirren game. There was a lot of talk before that game that the team had been ordered to play for a draw and, sure enough, the game ended up 1-1. ‘Antonio Calderon was manager at the time and he was absolutely livid about something after the match, although we don’t know for sure what it was. The League have been told about this and they will look into it. The League wrote to the club asking the board to confirm, in writing, that it knew of no one connected with the club who had placed bets on Raith. ‘The chairman called a board meeting and the question was put to the directors – and all denied placing bets on that match. He then spoke with the management team and senior players and asked them the same question. ‘The League’s letter included a permissions notice which was to be signed by each board member, the management team and senior players, which would allow the SFL to ask bookmakers if bets had been placed in any person’s name.
The 2nd betting probe came amid bitter in-fighting at the Kirkcaldy club.
Raith secretary Eric Drysdale said:
‘I can confirm the directors, senior management team and senior players were all asked to sign a disclaimer so the League could ask bookmakers if any bets had been placed in their name. ‘That happened in the close season. As far as I am aware the disclaimer related only to the Ayr United game.’
Again SFL secretary Peter Donald at the time told The Press:
“We will be writing to Raith asking them for their comments on the match. This is just the start of the process, giving the club the opportunity of explaining the circumstances. ‘We are awaiting further information from the bookmaking industry on the betting patterns. We’re waiting on their advice and guidance.'”We are awaiting further information from the bookmaking industry on betting patterns. We’re waiting on their advice and guidance.”
The Raith Rovers board that were under the betting probe investigation and are still in positions of power at the club are
TURNBULL HUTTON: Chairman. A lifelong fan, he was the head of drinks giant Diageo’s operations in Scotland. He quit, at the time of the scandal saying he could no longer be the ‘acceptable face’ of the club.
ERIC DRYSDALE: Secretary of Raith Rovers. Works as a bank manager and he has a reputation for straight dealing in football circles. He is highly thought of by the majority of Raith fans.
MARIO CAIRA: Majority shareholder. He also owns 25 per cent of the company that owns the club’s stadium Stark’s Park. Prominent local hotelier, he left the running of the club to Turnbull Hutton.
The others being
COLIN McGOWAN: Finance director and one half of the west coast contingent on the board. He was brought in by former majority shareholder Danny Smith. The east coast faction want the west out.
ALEX SHORT: Director and brother-in-law of former majority shareholder Danny Smith. Club insiders say he takes little to do with running the club and says little. Would be happy to go if money was right.
WILLIE GRAY: Local scrap dealer and director at Stark’s Park. Larger-than-life character who is loved and hated equally by the Raith fans. Drives a Jag and has houses in Kirkcaldy and Tenerife.
JIMMY MILLER: New director made his money selling ceramic tiles. Owns Kirkcaldy pub Bar Itza, the team’s shirt sponsor. Fans hope Miller will persuade other local businesses to back the club.
Gordon Dalziel has been on the record in the media especially the Rangers hating bigoted cesspit that is the the rabid Celtic minded Jim Delahunt/Gerry McCulloch hosted Radio Clyde Super Scoreboard. That he knows of players in the lower leagues guilty of and has seen evidence of questionable activity when the Ian Black affair was going on.
was this game one of the games he was meaning?
Gordon might be just known to youngsters as the latest “uncle tim sell out” whoring his dignity to tow the party line for his current Rangers hating employees, but he was manager of both Ayr United and Raith Rovers.
In fact his second spell at Starks park came hot in the heels of this betting scandal he would definitely be a person of interest in all this.
Raith’s outgoing player-boss Antonio Calderon admitted he made seven changes to the regular team on that fateful Ayr United Raith Rovers game.
He included a goalkeeper who had not played since January and another player who had only played one full game for the team.
First-team regulars Goran Stanic and Joaquin Bornes had said they did not want to risk injury as they would be out of contract after the game and looking for new clubs.
Calderon said he was unaware of any betting coup and insisted he played the strongest team available to him on the day.
He added: ‘Nobody told me who to pick. I am very surprised by this. Most of my players were injured but two asked me not to play them because it was the last game of the season and they did not want to risk injury.
‘The players were Stanic and Bornes. I was happy to allow this as they had played well for me all season. I am surprised that Raith Rovers fans would bet against their own club.
‘I tried to play the strongest team I could because I wanted to win my final game. Unfortunately, it was not to be.’
KEEP IT CLEAN CAMPAIGN
The Scottish FA along with Crimestoppers launched Keep It Clean, a campaign designed to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of match-fixing and other integrity-related issues that have infiltrated football across the world.
Now if I don’t know of a better case to start with than the one I have just blogged about then I don’t know what is!
If the information in this blog has shocked your sanctity in Scottish football then report this keep it clean and highlight and shine a light on this particular shady murky dare I see dodgy past in Raith Rovers history lets lift all the rocks up and see what slimy reptiles crawl from underneath.
If any of you either mentioned in this blog or not would know of any reason the cash strapped Raith Rovers would be allegedly involve in match fixing.
Phone them on their integrity hotline 0800 555 1111
or contact them electronically here http://blog.crimestoppers-uk.org/?page_id=13
And when I expose some of the real sub human criminal death peddling bastards who were involved at Raith Rovers at the time. You will be glad you picked up that phone and helped.
These BEASTS who make Craig Whyte look like an Altar boy will be exposed on this blog