The furore over Sutton United’s betting controversy could have been avoided with a comprehensive communications plan
There was so much focus on National League Sutton United’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs in Europe but in stuttering form and ripe for a giant-killing.
Amid the build-up, the reserve ‘roly poly goalie’ Wayne Shaw attracted a lot of attention, not least because at 23 stone, he cut an unlikely figure for a footballer.
Bookmaker Sun Bets, who took out one-off shirt sponsorship with Sutton for the fifth-round FA Cup tie, offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the game.
It did not take long for the Football Association and Gambling Commission to launch investigations and Shaw duly left the club, prompting outcry for losing his job after a seemingly naïve misjudgement but underlining the importance of proper communications planning.