The Football Association will investigate whether Sutton reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw broke betting rules after eating a pie in the dugout during Monday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.
The 46-year-old, known as the ‘roly-poly goalie’, admitted after the game he knew a bookmaker was offering odds on him being seen eating during the televised fifth-round meeting with the Gunners at Gander Green Lane.
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.
“We are investigating to establish whether there has been any breach of The FA rules relating to betting,” an FA spokesperson said.
The Gambling Commission announced earlier on Tuesday it would be conducting its own investigation into whether Sun Bets 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.”
— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) February 21, 2017
The Vanarama National League outfit lost 2-0 to Arsenal with Shaw making plenty of headlines in the build-up to the game, although his antics could now prove to sour the occasion for the U’s.
He admitted 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.
“A few of the lads said to me earlier on ‘what is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie?’,” he said.
“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 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.”
Senior figures at the non-league side were also condemning Shaw’s publicity stunt ahead of the FA’s announcement.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said the 20-stone goalkeeper would need to be brought back down to earth following the stunt.
“If you knew the roly poly goalkeeper you probably wouldn’t be very surprised. But Wayne is a top man,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.
“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.”
Shaw is also part of the backroom staff at Gander Green Lane, but his pie-eating left manager Paul Doswell unhappy after a big night in the club’s history.
“Wayne has become a global superstar on the back of being 20 stone,” he said.
“He’s made that a chance to get more media coverage off the back of it. It wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think it shows us in the best light.”
Sun Bets tweeted that it had paid out a ”five-figure sum” after Shaw was shown eating on the live BBC coverage.