‘Blue-Collar Worker’ Placed Five-Figure Sum on Daniel Sturridge Loan Move

Posted on: November 14, 2018, 07:06h. 

Last updated on: November 14, 2018, 07:06h.

A five-figure bet on Liverpool and England soccer star Daniel Sturridge moving to Inter Milan during last January’s transfer window startled one leading bookmaker, who suspected it was made using insider information, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Daniel Sturridge
New details have emerged of suspicious betting surrounding Daniel Sturridge’s January loan move from Liverpool to West Brom. The soccer player was charged by the FA on Tuesday with breaking its betting rules. (Image: The Independent)

If it were, the information proved to be false because the striker moved to West Bromwich Albion days later. Nevertheless, it adds a new level of intrigue to the news that Sturridge has been charged by English soccer’s governing body, the FA, with violating betting rules, specifically those which relate to the sharing of privileged information.

The unnamed bookmaker told The Telegraph that a red flag was raised about the Inter Milan bet because it had been placed by someone described as a “blue-collar worker” of “modest means.”

It is not known whether the incident formed part of the FA’s extensive 11-month investigation into the soccer player’s conduct.

Betting Avalanche

Sturridge was widely tipped to join Newcastle on loan before making an unexpected, last-minute switch to West Brom.

On Tuesday, The Liverpool Echo reported that Paddy Power received a flurry of bets on Sturridge joining West Brom on January 28, 24 hours before the move was officially announced, which caused the bookmaker to slash the odds from 66/1 to 5/2.

On Wednesday, The Sun cited a betting industry source who said that some customers were attempting to place bets of up to £5,000 ($6,400) on the West Brom move. One even dropped his attempted £5,000 bet to just £30 ($39) when he was told that was all the bookie was prepared to accept.

“We get suspicious about specialist bets like this when punters want to bet £20 let alone £5,000,” said the source.

‘Never Gambled’ on Soccer

Sturridge has been given until 6pm on November 20 to respond to the charges. If he is found to have breached the FA’s rules, he will likely face a fine and/or a suspension.

Daniel has given his full and unequivocal cooperation throughout this process and has assured the club he will continue to do so,” said a spokesperson for Liverpool FC on Monday. “Daniel has also stated categorically that he has never gambled on football. As with any issue of this nature, we will allow the process to be concluded in its entirety before making any further comment.”

In 2017, the FA fined Sutton United’s reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw and suspended him for two months for eating a meat pie during his team’s FA Cup fifth round match with Arsenal — after SunBets had offered 8/1 against such an event occurring.

The UK Gambling Commission fined SunBets £84,000 ($109,000) and warned it against offering novelty bets that could be easily manipulated.