Wayne Shaw’s pie-eating controversy started out as a bit of banter but has escalated to the point of an FA investigation.
The Sutton United goalkeeper has made front-page news after eating a pie on the bench during the club’s defeat to FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Monday.
Shaw, who resigned on Tuesday, admitted he was aware Sun Bets were offering odds of 8-1 against him eating a pie on live television, and the FA and Gambling Commission are currently investigating.
He told reporters, via The Guardian: “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’ve eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on.’”
“Sun Bets had us 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.”
When asked if he knew of anyone who had taken up the 8-1 bet, Shaw replied: “I think there were a few people. Obviously we are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans. It was just a bit of banter for them.”
FA's betting rules
Although the 45-year-old’s actions didn’t impact Sutton’s 2-0 defeat, FA rules on betting state: “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”
The controversy has spoiled Sutton’s terrific cup run and cost Shaw his job. Sutton manager Paul Doswell said “there were tears down the phone” as the 23-stone ‘keeper offered to resign.
Of course, this isn’t the last we will hear of Shaw. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity and he’s made quite a name for himself over the past week - his Twitter following has risen to nearly 18,000, just 3,000 fewer than Sutton’s official Twitter account.
One fan has launched a petition
And, despite facing punishment from the FA, Shaw retains the support of many. Gary Lineker has come out in defence of the goalkeeper and one fan has even launched a petition to have him reinstated at Sutton.
Twitter user Guido Fawkes is responsible for starting the campaign, which is bluntly titled: “Reinstate Wayne Shaw as Sutton United reserve goalie after he was sacked for eating a pie.”
The contents reads: “Sutton United's rotund reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was unjustly sacked for eating a pie in the dugout during his team's FA Cup tie against Arsenal.
“Justice must prevail and Wayne must be reinstated to the subs' bench.”
Upon reaching 5,000 signatures, the petition will be sent to Sutton United. At the time of writing, it has been signed 4,896 times - so Sutton can expect to receive it very soon.
Check the petition out HERE.