The stench of hypocrisy drifts its noisome way around the decision to ban Leeds United’s Jordan Stevens “from all football related activities” for the heinous crime of placing bets. The ban, along with a £1,200 fine, prevents young Stevens from training or associating with the club for what amounts to 6 weeks in purdah. This is a young man who acknowledges that he has broken a rule, but who is suffering from boredom and home-sickness, two well-known factors in driving many a young person temporarily off the rails.
So what’s the solution? Why, to separate Stevens from the source of his professional development and day to day occupation, and this at a time when Marvin Sordell, a former professional footballer who campaigns on mental health issues, is calling on the FA to do more for young players this afflicted. To isolate Stevens at this time, when he feels this way, is like pouring oil on a wildfire in the hope that it may be extinguished.
And the hypocrisy gets worse. As United fan James Levy points out on Twitter “Player done for gambling who plays for 32Red sponsored club, playing in SkyBet sponsored division, where televised games have commercials for Bet365 before and during the match. And the player is the one with the gambling problem!”.
We must surely be getting used now to disproportionate and ridiculous penalties being handed down, whenever any transgression is accompanied by a Leeds United affiliation on the part of the offender. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it, or take it meekly without protest. The football authorities are bang to rights here on imposing a ridiculously inappropriate and draconian penalty, when surely a mere playing ban would have sufficed, allowing Jordan to continue under the guidance and support of the club. Instead, he’s been cut off from all that, and left to paddle his own canoe at a time when a more constructive approach would have yielded positive benefits as well as teaching the same lesson. What lesson does this teach Jordan, or indeed any of us? How much respect can we now have for such an arrogant and uncaring ruling body?
The answer is the same as Boris Johnson‘s record as PM in Commons votes – a big, fat ZERO.
Couldn’t agree more Rob, the two word message at the end of the said Sky commercials is “Gamble Responsibly”. It’s a bit like looking to find the small print in a contract, you know it there but can’t be bothered. What they really mean is, keep making us richer, suckers! The kid needs a helping hand not a kick in the teeth? By the way Rob Parliament 6 Johnson 0.
Yes indeed, as annoying as ever from the powers that be, but it’s not ALL bad news 👍
I was disgusted to read of this punishment and totally agree with you and many other fans regardless of which club the player belongs to.
These lads are surrounded by temptation and keeping them on the straight and narrow is a hard job but to make it even harder to help them is just cruel and senseless. Yes the lad has been daft and there will be many reasons behind all this that we will not be a party to and some help needs to be administered to help him appreciate his mistake not hinder him. Banning him in this way defies all logic the FA is a shambles, if you put the lot of them together in a sack and gave it a good shake you would be hard put to get one with a brain out of it.
The fans and MP’s and senior royals are all calling for help to kick out racism, support the mental health side of the game, keep violence out of the game on and off the pitch, the list is endless and as Philip says what do the FA do…poor oil on troubled waters and possibly drive the lad in to a place he does not need or want to be in. The FA need to be ashamed of themselves.
Jordan we are behind you lad we all support you and want you to come through the other side of this in tact. It will be tough but come on show those dozy clods in the FA what you are really made of and are better than they are. ALAW
Ludicrous punishment passed down by a bunch of overpaid buffoons picking on a vulnerable young footballer. Can Leeds appeal this decision?
If the FA are so against gambling maybe they shouldn’t jump into bed with every gambling company on the planet. I realise the possible corruption with players betting on games they may have an influence over but it was obvious with Stevens this was not the case.
Pathetic and bullying FA! MOT