Simon Jordan has backed the Football Association’s decision to appeal against Daniel Sturridge’s punishment for breaching betting rules – saying the former Liverpool striker should be banned from football for LIFE.
Shortly after Sturridge was hit with a £75,000 fine and a six-week ban, four of which were suspended, by an independent regulatory commission, the FA announced they would push for a tougher punishment as the 26-cap England international had used ‘cynical determination’ to help others place bets.
They added in a statement that anything shorter than a six-month ban for the player would ‘wholly fail to reflect the gravity of the case’.
Sturridge’s punishment, handed out after nine of 11 charges were dismissed, means he pays back less than one week’s worth of his reported wage at Liverpool – while he is free to resume playing football on July 31.
Some of the dismissed charges alleged Sturridge, who is currently a free agent, passed on information about possible moves to Inter Milan and West Brom – the club he eventually joined on loan in January 2018.
Jordan says Sturridge’s breaches of betting regulations go entirely against the ‘integrity’ of football – and he claims the punishment he was handed comes nowhere near fitting the crime.
“It goes to the integrity of the sport,” said Jordan on Friday’s Jim White show. “It’s beyond reproach and there can be no justification for it.
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“I think the FA are absolutely right – they should throw the book at this kid!
“The fact he is allegedly providing information to a member of his family about a loan move… I know it’s allegedly because we are not across the facts, but there is some element of people taking this seriously.
“He’s either guilty or he’s not guilty, and if he’s been found guilty he should be hit with the hardest and most strident penalties that take him out of football for a far longer period of time than two weeks.”
Asked what punishment would fit the crime, Jordan replied: “In my view, I think people like that who are found guilty should be banned for life.
“They are compromising the integrity of the sport.
“In this instance I think he is breaching the covenant, the undertaking, the unwritten understanding that sport has integrity.
“And if he’s doing that he should suffer the consequences of it, for the love of God!
“I’ve always thought fining people money was some sort of draconian thing only related to football. There should be consequences, and the biggest consequence is you no longer get to participate in this sport.
“You have compromised the values of this sport, and for that, that is your lot.
“Everybody knows you cannot give somebody an inside indication of your move, or the events unfolding ahead of a game.”
After his punishment was announced on Thursday, Sturridge said: “I am pleased that nine of the 11 charges were dismissed and that the panel found me to be an honest and credible witness, and that my actions on one particularly difficult day were out of character.
“The case was heard over seven days by a distinguished panel, which resulted in a lengthy and carefully considered decision, and followed an extensive investigation by the FA. It is therefore extremely disappointing to hear that the FA will be appealing this decision. I will continue to defend the case and the appeal.
“I am training hard and fully focused on the upcoming football season.”