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Should Ex-Professional Footballers & Managers Be Offering Betting Tips?

betting logos on football shirtsDon’t you find it weird that ex-professional footballers and their managers who could not or did not bet in their playing days, turn tipsters as soon as they leave the game?  Most big bookies now have ex-players or managers as brand ambassadors and in many cases these people offer predictions for punters.

Only this very week, former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland player Jason McAteer signed on to be the official ambassador of LV BET, themselves the official betting partner of England’s Vanarama National League.

McAteer is simply the latest in a long line of ex-pros teaming up with betting companies to help them promote their products.

Peter Schmeichel, John Barnes, Ally McCoist, Michael Owen, Harry Redknapp, Chris Kamara, Ian Wright, Robbie Fowler, not to mention the whole team at Sky Sports who want you to put your money in to Sky Bet, are all now, or have been, associated with online bookmakers.

Some are merely trying to entice you to bet with a bookie, presumably relying on fan allegiance, while others are actually tipping punters on who or what they should be backing.

But should they really be doing it?  Not just from the standpoint of encouraging people to gamble but also from the point of view that these people have not, or should not have, bet during their careers and so surely would make lousy tipsters?  Perhaps that is the angle that the bookies are going for, poor tipsters effectively means better profits.

Poor Knowledge Of Betting And Odds Value

Betting Tips and How to WinIt is true that these ex pros have spent a lifetime in the game and do have a far deeper knowledge of it than your average fan, even the pub bore who thinks that he knows it all.

But in turn, and with the possible exception of Harry Redknapp, they are also likely to have a much poorer understanding of betting and odds value due to not being able to bet for so long. They are essentially bookie rookies that have been assigned a greater significance due to their high profile past.

But you, as a punter, have to question that validity. I mean why trust the tips of someone who has never really placed a bet?

There are so many factors to consider when betting, and lazy bettors will almost always lose.

If you follow what the “experts” say you will likely lose your investment, and it is highly doubtful that the ambassadors themselves have even bothered putting in the necessary homework before tipping.

And while you could argue that this is no different to the abundance of tipsters all over the web and social media, you really have to accept that it is different because ex professionals carry with them a greater authority as a result of working in the game for such a long time.

Having knowledge does not necessarily make you better at something, though.  Experts tend to focus on details that actually matter less in the overall scheme of things while successful bettors can be successful without understanding a sport in details, as long as they can understand probability and the important information that matters.

There is a famous psychological factor known as the ‘Green Lumber Fallacy’.  Basically the most successful trader of cut wood became successful because they realised they could sell green wood more easily.  For most of their career they believed the wood was green because it was painted, when in fact it was simply green because it was freshly cut.  The point being you don’t need to understand why the wood is green in order to know that you can make more money from it.  The same point applies to betting, the critical information for a successful bet or trade is often not the information that so called ‘experts’ focus on.

Moral Implications

moral immoral blocksOne of the worst parts of all this is that this all comes at a time when we are supposed to be reducing football’s association with gambling.

We are constantly being told that gambling is bad on the one hand but being encouraged to engage with it with on the other.

These days bookmakers are unable to buy up advertising time slots during live games, but they are able to use ex pros to either use in their marketing campaigns or, as in the case of Michael Owen and BetVictor, write or compose a page for tipping how that weekend’s fixture are likely to go.

This all makes perfect sense from the bookmaker’s perspective and they are not doing anything wrong or illegal. Punters are encouraged to bet based on the players and managers that promote these markets, with the bookies knowing that there is a high failure rate among wagers such as these.

Only a few years ago, Sky Bet came under pressure for using known gambling addict and Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson in their adverts.

The former England and Arsenal star, who admits to losing millions of pounds due the easy availability of gambling apps on smartphones, appeared in two promotional campaigns for the Flutter Entertainment brand.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t feel right at all that players, some of which (Ian Wright and Ladbrokes) are idolised, and others (Robbie Savage and William Hill) are not, can encourage you to part with your hard earned cash on behalf of extremely rich online bookmakers.

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