Donít bet on it
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 11 April 2014
LEE Johnson believes the proposed worldwide blanket ban on betting will be impossible to police.
Athletic’s manager expressed shock that ex-Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore allegedly got himself involved in wagering activities that ultimately cost him his job.
Johnson even stopped himself punting on Chelsea defeating Paris St Germain in the Champions League this week to be ultra-safe.
Gambling within the game has been an issue Johnson has confronted in his first full season as a manager, thanks to the spot-fixing saga over sacked winger Cristian Montano, .
FA rules prevent players and officials laying bets in competitions their club is, or has been, involved in.
New proposals will outlaw all football betting completely within the top eight tiers from next season, to combat potential corruption.
Johnson, who sees little wrong with backing your own side to win, says that may be going too far: “You think someone of the experience of Ronnie Moore wouldn’t get sucked in.. But then I also think of my old man (Gary Johnson, manager of Yeovil), and that culture always used to be that they would go to the bookies. People who love football like to have an interest.
“In my opinion, you should be able to bet on your own team to win. But with inside information and things like that, it is a minefield.
“They are trying to clear it up with this blanket ban. Maybe it will work. For me, I am frightened now of even walking into a bookies.”
Johnson, who will watch Stevenage take on Athletic’s next opponents Colchester tomorrow, says the period until the end of the Easter will be crucial in shaping how the bottom section of Sky Bet League One will end up.
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