Wednesday 21 March 2018

Jim McGuinness: Donegal players won big after betting on shock 2014 Dubs victory

Insight revealed from Jim McGuinness’ new book ‘Until Victory Always – A Memoir’.

Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness
Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness

Eoin Harrington

Jim McGuinness has revealed how Donegal players backed themselves at 10/1 in last year's shock All-Ireland semi-final win over Dublin.

The Ulster side went into the 2014 last four clash as massive underdogs and faced a Dublin team who were the defending National League, Leinster and All-Ireland champions in Croke Park.

Jim Gavin's side were highly fancied to book a spot in the final against Kerry, Donegal stunned the Irish sporting world with a comprehensive six-point win in one of the games of the season.

In his new autobiography to be released next week, the former Donegal manager revealed that his squad had placed large bets on themselves to win the famous semi-final and that, as a result, they won big.

The 1992 All-Ireland winner also recalled that, when manager of Glenties in 2005, his players backed themselves on 6/1 odds to win the county final replay against St Eunan’s – and that history repeated itself last year.

“When we played St Eunan’s in 2005, our boys had us backed,” the current Celtic performance consultant writes in his book ‘Until Victory Always – A Memoir’.

“Now, our boys had us backed to beat Dublin. We were available at 10/1. They had a few hundred euros on themselves. And we knew leaving the hotel that we were going to win.”

The quotes from Sky’s leading football analyst could land Donegal GAA in trouble, as new GPA and GAA recommendations last year warned against betting on competitions involving your own team.

“As a player, mentor, or official with a unique insight into team selection, tactics, form, or insider information, the best recommendation is to never bet on a competition your team is involved in," the rules state.

"Legislation in Ireland and Northern Ireland outlines severe consequences relating to any potential match-fixing or abuse of insider knowledge, with penalties including a fine and/ or imprisonment.

"Penalties for individuals or teams/units range from a minimum 8-week suspension to debarment and expulsion from the Association.”

McGuinness left the Donegal team after the 2014 defeat in the All-Ireland football final against Kerry.

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