Wayne Shaw, the Sutton United goalkeeper who ate a pie on the bench during the club’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, has resigned after the Football Association and Gambling Commission launched an investigation into a potential breach of betting rules.
The 46-year-old, known as the “roly-poly goalie,” admitted after the non-league side’s 2-0 loss that he knew a bookmaker was offering odds of 8-1 on him being seen eating during the match at Gander Green Lane, which was shown live on BBC One.
With Sun Bets tweeting that they had paid out a “five-figure sum” on the bet, the FA will now launch an inquiry to determine whether Shaw has breached its gambling regulations.
An FA spokesperson said: “We are investigating to establish whether there has been any breach of The FA rules relating to betting.”
The news has prompted the National League club to act quickly, with Shaw’s resignation being accepted less than 24 hours after the biggest game in the club’s history. As well as the club’s reserve goalkeeper, he was also part of the coaching team.
Manager Paul Doswell told Sky News: “It’s been very disappointing, there’s no doubt about that. I woke up this morning to this storm of criticism, and it’s something that we’ve dealt with quickly as a club.
“Wayne himself has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and that’s been accepted. It’s a very sad end to what was a very, very good story.”
He later added on Sky Sports News: “He didn’t leave us or the board with any alternative. This showed the club in a bad light, and to find that it was done in connection with some 8-1 bet exacerbates the situation
“We are all being looked at to see if we have had a bet, and it takes away what a lot of this has been about for us.
“None of the players, as far as I know, were aware of this scenario. If any of our players, any of our staff had a bet on that then they would also suffer the same consequences.”
The Gambling Commission announced earlier on Tuesday it would be conducting its own investigation into whether Sun Bets — which sponsored Sutton for the cup clash — had breached its licence requirement by offering such a bet in the first instance.
”Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened,” Richard Watson, the commission’s enforcement and intelligence director, said in a statement.
”As part of that we’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”
Doswell added: “Of course we’ve been contacted by the FA, the betting commission, and it’s been a very sobering morning. At the moment it’s early days and it’s by way of emails and other bits and pieces but unfortunately it’s worldwide news this morning.
“It’s taken the gloss off my players’ performance and gone on to something it shouldn’t have gone on to. I feel very sorry for the players in many regards that that spotlight has been taken away from them.
“It was an honest error but one that’s had quite sad ramifications. Wayne’s been swept along with what’s happened in this last three or four weeks. Since the camera got him in the Leeds United game he’s gone into another world in terms of what he’s used to.
“I think he’s been ill-advised at times and he’s just made a very genuine mistake. If you knew him, he’s such a lovely, lovely man. His judgement wasn’t great last night and he’s obviously paid the price for that.”
Shaw ate the pie after all three substitutions had been made, which meant there was no longer any prospect of him featuring.
He said after the match that he believes some people placed money on the 8-1 on offer for him to be shown eating a pie in the dugout.
After the game, Shaw — who Doswell said weighs 23 stone (322 pounds) –told reporters: “A few of the lads said to me earlier on, ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie?’
“I said, ‘I don’t know, I have eaten nothing all day so I might give it a go later on.’ As I say Sun Bet had me at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.
“I went and got it at half-time from the kitchen, I had it all prepared and ready to go. It was meat and potato.
“I think there were a few people [who backed it]. Obviously we are not allowed to bet.
“I think [it was] a few of the mates and a few of the fans. It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”
Great journey well done to all the management players and staff go again Saturday proud to be involved @suttonunited it was a pasty not pie.
– Wayne Shaw (@wayneshaw70) February 21, 2017
Speaking on BBC 5 Live, Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said: “If you knew the roly-poly goalkeeper you probably wouldn’t be very surprised, but Wayne is a top man.
“I didn’t know anything about it. He has got himself in the papers again and the fame obviously has gone to his head a little bit, but we will soon bring him back down to earth, don’t worry about that.”
Let us know what you think by leaving us a line in our comments section below.