John Whittingdale MP
Scandal of the lost millions
As someone on Twitter put it this week about Football Index: “ If I bet Manchester United to win and with one minute to go they are four goals up and the betting company announce they’ve gone bust – what would you say?”
The so-called football stock market Football Index has collapsed and is expected to go into administration in Jersey with some speculating they have a suspected plan to phoenix dumping £58m in debts.
QPR have removed the logo from their shirts already
Government demand answers
John Whittingdale the new ‘gambling minister’ has demanded an explanation from the betting regulator about the implosion of the firm. Customers buy and sell ‘shares’ in football players and depending on their performance on the Football Index listing their value rises or falls. As they rise customers can cash in their shares for profit – until now. The company ceased trading with no pay-outs and uncertainty over the cash paid out by punters.
Ian Carrotte of ICSM said the scheme was little more than a 21st century Ponzi set up. He said: “It has all the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme. Get rich quick schemes are built on sand with only one outcome. From Polly Peck to the Chinese lender Qiangqiantong, if it’s too good to be true then it is just that.”
The Government’s Whittingdale is understood to have ‘balled out’ the Gambling Commission who were ‘asleep at the wheel.’ He is overseeing a review of the gambling industry and is extremely angry that the commission allowed the situation to develop leaving members of the public with a £58m bill. His intervention led to the Gambling Commission revoking Football Index’s licence as it shut up shop. Their customers are complaining that they are unable to retrieve thousands of pounds from their accounts. A Twitter search shows how angry customers are with some having lost tens of thousands of pounds as they tried to become rich with the scheme.
Writing for The Guardian Rob Davies said: “The company, which sponsored both Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers football clubs, is due to appoint insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor to act as administrators, raising uncertainty over whether account holders will be able to retrieve funds.”
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For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk