ports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has asked Parry’s panel to come up with a set of recommendations on how integrity in sports and associated betting can be upheld. The panel is made up of top names from the betting world, the Gambling Commission, and legal experts.
It will look at the scale and the current risk to the integrity of sport through betting corruption, including how suspicious betting patterns are identified and assessed, in markets within and outside the UK.
Parry leaves his job at LFC at the end of the month after having joined the club in 1997, and it is no surprise that he has already lined up a high-profile appointment. He will work for two days a month over the next six months, and says he is currently mulling over a few other ideas for further employment.
Last night, he said: “It is an interesting and challenging role. What’s quite interesting about this is that the minister of sport is being proactive in wanting to check that we are doing everything we can to protect integrity in sport. “The paying public have a right to expect integrity in sport competitions. I don’t think there’s any suggestion there is widespread corruption in sport, but now is a good time to review it and I am delighted to have been asked to be involved.”
Parry announced he would be leaving LFC in February, after months of speculation about his relationship with co-owner Tom Hicks. Their relationship was strained when Hicks publicly called for him to resign last year. Prior to his job at the club he spent the previous six years as CEO of the Premier League.
Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe said: “I am delighted that Rick Parry has agreed to lead this vitally important work. “His expertise in the nation’s most high-profile sport, along with that of the other panel members, will give this project the impetus it needs to tackle sports betting corruption head-on. We cannot be complacent and need to act now to prevent this becoming a real threat to the integrity of sport.” Then he added: “There are some complex issues involved and this is by no means an easy task, but I have great confidence in the panel and I look forward to hearing the recommendations.”
Gambling Commission chairman Brian Pomeroy said: “I want to welcome Rick Parry and the other members of the expert panel and look forward to sharing with them the benefit of our expertise on betting integrity in the British market. I support this initiative strongly which brings together those whose work keeps British sport free of corruption.”
“By acting in concert against the threat to integrity, the betting industry, sports bodies, players and their representatives, police forces, the Gambling Commission and others can achieve much more than any of us alone.”
Huge sums can be bet on the result of sporting events, particularly in the Far East betting markets. Allegations of corruption have tainted several sports in recent years, particularly cricket, where late South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje was caught taking bribes to throw matches.