TRIPPIER'S TRANSFER ANTICS: DOES HIS CRIME REALLY FIT THE PUNISHMENT?
I have an unnecessary dislike for Kieran Trippier.
It may be because I am jealous of his success, or jealous of his wealth, but it’s most likely because he looked like the kind of person who I wouldn’t have been on best terms in secondary school with.
So, when I found out he was being done for betting, I rubbed my hands together, thinking he was obviously guilty. The case was supposed to be similar to that of Daniel Sturridge’s from a few years back, that a move was about to happen and the player has let his friends know and they have bet on the sure thing.
However, the more I have read about the story the more I have had to challenge my first impressions.
The issue surrounds Kieran Trippier and his move from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico Madrid in 2019. Before the transfer was finalised, he let close friends know and they went on to win roughly £1500 from betting on the transfer.
The evidence against Tripper came mainly in the form of a Whatsapp group chat amongst him and some good friends. Considering Trippier was given a ten week ban by the FA you’d think he told his mates that he definitely was going to sign for Atletico and they should go down the bookies and make a killing.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, instead it was far more casual. Yes, he did mention to his friends that he was likely to be heading abroad. Then, when questioned if they should put some money on it, Trippier replied in a non-committal way. This doesn't seem like the actions of a criminal that the ban makes him out to be.
Now while his response and messages are not exemplary and weren’t explicitly preceded by stating that this information should not be used to gain an unfair betting advantage, he isn’t a robot and he was telling his friends about a life changing decision. To make out that he should have done more is unfeasible and to be honest, asking too much.
While the amount of money shouldn’t truly matter, it's more about the act itself, the measly sum goes to show you that this wasn’t a pre-planned agreement and that the intentions behind letting his friends know was not malicious or criminally intended.
Players are under increasingly more and more pressure to act and behave in certain ways, with almost constant eyes on them. A player telling their close friends about moving shouldn’t have to come with caveats that every other person doesn’t have to deal with. We can easily see how isolated players could become and the impact this overextension could have on mental health is damnable.
At the end of the day this protects the pockets of betting companies, and I don’t think the response of the Trippier ban is anywhere near equal to the offense. That offense being upsetting the idiom, in the smallest of ways, that the house always wins.