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Are Football Players Underperforming Thanks to Gambling Addictions?

Wed 27th Apr 2016 | Money & Finance

Whenever a star player is not playing up to his potential, the vultures come out in the form of media critics who try to dissect what could be going wrong.

This is doubly true if said player is on an expensive contract, or the club just paid out a king’s fortune in transfer fees to get him there, only to see him put up a fraction of the goals he was paid to put up. Is his partying too much with celebrities and ending up pasted across national tabloids the world over affecting his performance? Are there locker room problems with his equally attention-craving teammates? Is his hardline coach too much for him to handle? Is he having too much sex the night before gameday? 

The speculation in the football industry news often runs rampant, and quickly veers towards the ridiculous. After all, the underlying aspect of sports – the drama off the field – is the male equivalent of daytime soap operas. It keeps guys glued to their TV sets and news shows, tabloids and sports magazines, just to see what happens next in the glamorous world of their favourite star athletes. The appeal is, of course, living vicariously through their superstars. 

Gambling as a Legitimate Problem in the World of Professional Sports Performance

What does not get speculated about as much is the issue of gambling. Sure, there is the question of the purity of the game that is often brought into question thanks to athletes and coaches having thrown games in the past in order to make out like bandits on illegal bets. That is a threat to the integrity of the game and should not be taken lightly. 

But have many stopped to consider what the effect of top players going to UK casinos like newcasinosonline.co might be on those who make millions upon millions of pound Sterlings to produce on the field? In a new study produced by Graeme Law of the University of Chester, it was revealed that players are concealing a gambling problem from their partners by going to online sites such as these to place bets, and this behaviour had actually caused enough consternation to negatively impact their on-field output. 

Losing Begets Losing

As they gamble in order to alleviate some of the stress that comes from the highly competitive sporting world, the lack of security over keeping their jobs in the industry, the maintaining of appearances in a bright spotlight the media places on them, they turn to gambling as an escape: a way out from the highly restrictive and regimented lifestyle the club places on them. 

Of course, the flipside to this risky behaviour is losing gob loads of money on bets placed before the game. That kind of loss creates real world results. It might be at hotels before the big game, or poker games on the plane or bus, but the results of losing big in the game can be the same as on the field. This can create long-term emotional or financial responsibility, and so it is incumbent on invested parties in the players and the sport to take this issue seriously. 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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