James Scowcroft: I know players gamble but fixing a game is extremely rare in UK

The view from the pitch

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The Independent Football

During my time as a professional footballer I had many shocking decisions go against me, but I never suspected that any of them were as a result of match fixing.

It is no secret that professional footballers like to gamble. They have a lot of time on their hands and they earn vast amounts of money, so you can understand why it is a temptation.

I know some footballers that have gambled away all their money – including one who currently pays around 80 per cent of his wages to creditors. But I never came across anyone in the UK who was involved in throwing a game.

I’m not so naïve to think it has not gone on, but players today earn vast sums of money. One contract can set you up for life, so the motivation to do this sort of thing as a side earner is significantly lower.

The money you can potentially make from throwing a game is just not worth it when you consider how much a player could lose if they are caught. Thankfully, in the UK I think it is extremely rare. The scale of the match fixing that has been uncovered by this investigation is shocking to me.

It takes a lot of hard work to become a professional footballer, and anyone that gets involved in match fixing is making a very bad mistake.