by joncandy Caption: Former footballer Jimmy Bullard
A string of high-profile footballers have been named in a betting scandal that’s thought to be worth more than £30 million. Jimmy Bullard and Roy Keane are just two of the figures that are thought to have been caught up in an alleged fraud instigated by former Coventry player Michael McIndoe.
Although nothing has yet been confirmed, many of Europe’s largest bookmakers and lottery providers are handing over McIndoe’s account details after police suspected he was swindling some of the UK’s top players.
A Potential Ponzi Scheme
According to reports, McIndoe promised returns of 20 per cent each month to those that invested in his scheme that promised exclusive access to private jets and nightclubs. However, after filing for bankruptcy back in October 2014, it emerged that McIndoe used most of the money to gamble on hundreds of sports matches.
After William Hill turned over McIndoe’s account details to the police, it was revealed that McIndoe had wagered almost £400,000 within a two-year period. This, according to the authorities, is only the tip of the iceberg and the reason why it’s believed McIndoe was running a Ponzi scheme (basically a scam where each new investor’s money is used to pay other investors).
The Italian Job
Instances of football and betting scandals aren’t simply confined to the UK. Over the last few years Italian football has been hit by a number of problems, most notably in 2006 and 2012 when a slew of teams were implicated in a mass match-fixing scandal. These incidents cost the Italian leagues hundreds of millions in revenue and almost crippled the game inside the country.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of European football. The world’s richest team, Real Madrid, a club that’s annual revenue exceeds £440 million, has avoided any major issues in the last few years. As well as being home to some of the top footballers in the world, Real Madrid has been a stable business enterprise with a clean image for more than a decade. This ability to dodge any proverbial bullets has allowed Real to dominate both on the pitch and in the stock markets.
Football is certainly one of the most entertaining sports in the world when things are going smoothly. However, when characters such as McIndoe bring the game into disrepute, it can certainly smudge the make-up of the beautiful game.