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Are Ladbrokes really the villains of the ‘Derek McInnes set to quit saga’?

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If you have not turned to social media and the papers this week you would probably have missed the furore over Ladbrokes suspending bets on Derek McInnes to quit Aberdeen.

Furore over a bookies having bets on a manager quitting or to be sacked you say. Of course those of you who have put a line on one betting company or another would realise that this sort of bet is common place and not just with Ladbrokes.

The issue escalated because Ladbrokes are the title sponsors of the SPFL and added to online speculation and rumours fuelled by trolls on social media.

The main rumour – while not going into any of the other ludicrous ones – was that Derek McInnes was set to quit Aberdeen and was potentially in the line to replace Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager. This saw a number of bets being placed on the Ladbrokes website before they suspended any further ones on their website and announced it via their twitter account.

This saw a major backlash from Aberdeen as well as the SPFL over the conduct of the league sponsors, with the Pittodrie side issuing a statement refuting the rumours.

Thursday also saw the Dons manager Derek McInnes speak to the media saying he was ‘baffled’ by the whole episode.

He said: “I was a bit baffled by the whole thing to be honest. You start to get phone calls from press guys and you soon realise something is gathering a bit of momentum.

“But I really was baffled by it. When you look back on it in the cold light of day, then people have got to have a responsibility to act better. What can you do to stop it? Social media is what it is. I’m from a generation that is not involved in it.

“But I think for the main sponsors to be involved in instigating a lot of it is disappointing. They have a responsibility to work with clubs as the main sponsor and not work against clubs and managers.

“This is me talking about this today but it could be another manager next week. There have been other managers who have been put under pressure unnecessarily. The job is difficult enough. It is something which isn’t helpful.”

While I understand the issue with a league sponsor publishing odds of managerial sackings etc in the league that they sponsor. It’s far from new. Bookies across the country publish such bets all the time and currently many are running bets on who the next manager in a specific league will be the next to leave his job.

So why the fuss now? And why are the media jumping on the back of this also to target the bookies?

After all the media are renowned for publishing articles calling for managers to be sacked, speculating on a manager being sacked and claiming managers will be sacked if they don’t qualify for the knock out stages of a cup competition. Such as The Herald this season claiming Ronny Deila would be sacked if Celtic didn’t qualify for the knock out rounds of the Europa League.

Surely if the SPFL are to investigate the actions of the betting company then surely they should also look at the media’s penchant for publishing such stories to profit from it? After all many of the media companies are partners with the league and governing bodies also – yet there was no furore over their coverage of such stories. Why not?

McInnes isn’t the first manager and he won’t be the last manager either to have bookies, the media or even fans speculating on his future.

In fact didn’t Ladbrokes list odds of Rangers manager Mark Warburton taking over at Liverpool following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers. Surely there was outrage then?

Disclaimer: Ladbrokes sponsors Scotzine however they do not dictate content on this website nor have any form of control over it.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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