Matt was Taking the Tiss

I recently had to laugh when reading former footballer Matt Le Tissier’s autobiography, ‘Taking the Tiss’. His bodged attempt at a betting scam during a game he was playing in was buffoonery of the highest order.

Matt claimed that he, a teammate and a few friends placed a bet on the first throw-in during a match between Southampton and Wimbledon in 1995.

Despite the obvious and despicable conflict of interest’s issue, all Matt had to do was ensure the ball was kicked out of play within 75 seconds of the kick-off. The consortium stood to win £10,000, if the former England international could perform this simple task.

It is common knowledge that footballers aren’t exactly modern philosophers, but kicking the ball is a necessity when plying this trade. The ball was immediately played back to Matt straight from the kick-off, where he duly kicked the ball in the direction of the terraces.

Unfortunately, for the consortium, Le Tissier had misjudged the distance to the sidelines. Teammate Neil Shipperley chased down the ball and headed it back into play before it reached its intended destination in Row Z.

I would have loved to seen the reaction on Le Tissier’s face when he realized his unforgivable blunder. At this point, the consortium stood to lose money, if Matt couldn’t get the ball out of play within the next 40 seconds.

Matt was never known as a speedy kind of player, but he did manage to squeeze the ball out of play on 70 seconds, which rendered the bet null and void.

We shouldn’t really be laughing, because after all, this is cheating on his teammates and the Southampton supporters in the name of hard currency. Although the bet was harmless enough, the rules are in place to ensure that everything is above board.

It would be hard to imagine that top flight footballers of today would do the same thing, because of the higher wages they receive. It is likely that Wayne Rooney is instead sat at home on Betfair, wagering a few thousand away on online poker instead. Wouldn’t you be?

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