Matt Le Tissier reveals his botched £10,000 betting scam
South coast legend admits to cheeky spread betting swindle
In the season when Wimbledon FC suffered more than their fair share of inexplicable floodlight failures, The Spoiler was puzzled to see the Dons put the ball out of play straight after kick off on more than one occasion. The reason behind this apparent waste of possession has become clear, thanks to Matthew Le Tissier’s (awfully-titled) autobiography ‘Taking Le Tiss‘.
In a 2-0 victory over Wimbledon in April 1995, The Southampton legend admits that he took advantage of the emerging trend of spread betting, by placing a wager on the time of the first throw-on. If he could get the ball out of play within the first minute of the game, Le Tiss and a friend stood to make £10,000. Unfortunately, a tubby journeyman striker thwarted his plan:
“Southampton were safe from relegation and I couldn’t see a problem with making a few quid on the first throw-in.
“I went to hit it out towards Neil Shipperley but I was nervous and didn’t give it quite enough welly.
“Shipperley knew nothing about the bet and kept it in. I’ve never run so much in my life. I charged around desperately trying to kick the ball out. Eventually I got it out on 70 seconds. It meant the bet was neither won nor lost.”
Le Tissier may have been disappointed with his (final) foray into the world of spread betting, but he made up for it with his performance on the day – if The Spoiler remembers correctly, he scored directly from a corner, securing a victory that helped keep the Saints in the top flight.
The FA have said they will take no action as the Guernsey hitman is no longer in the game, but the Association of British Bookmakers have wagged their finger and declared that “his actions could constitute a conspiracy to defraud.”
Spoiler promotion: If you fancy getting involved in the wonderful world of spread betting, go and see our friends at Sporting Index. Probably best to leave it alone if you’re a professional footballer, though.