By Fraser McLuggage.
Gambling addiction is a disease many football fans suffer from, and with Hamilton Manager Brian Rice recently opening up on his gambling demons, it appears it has made its way into football’s dressing rooms.
At the beginning of the week the Accies boss spoke about his addiction, and Scottish football responded by backing him 100%. And with teams competing in a league sponsored by Ladbrokes, the William Hill Scottish Cup and the Betfred Cup, is it any wonder that players and managers are tempted?
Ex Motherwell manager, Willie McLean, claims gambling is more of a problem now due to how easy it is to place a bet online, he said: “Gambling has been made too easy. It is too easy for players to fall into the trap of gambling. They’ve got so much money about their fingers and they’re wondering what they’re going to do with their days and time and gambling is the nearest thing and they just go to the bookies.
“The authorities have got to cut it down and tighten it up all together and ban individual gambling.
“We have got no experience in this area because there was no betting by phone in those days, it’s all made too easy for people now. Gambling surrounds the modern game and betting company’s can be seen at every match across the country.”
Ex Ayr United manager, Robert Reilly, spoke very highly of Brian Rice and hopes that the SFA don’t punish the Accies manager in light of his honesty and transparency.
Reilly said: “Brian is a great pro and a top guy. He’s a really good football coach and in no way should he be incriminated for being honest about this.
Reilly can also see the temptation for footballers and thinks there is a dangerous trap they can fall into. “It’s too easy for them to bet now. Professional footballers finish training at half 12 and then they have the rest of the day to themselves. Some of the lads will start going into the bookies and putting bets on because it gave them something to do, rather than going home and sitting in front of the tele and watch daytime television.”