Willie Irvine column: I was offered cash to fix match
IT’S a disgrace to hear about these fixing allegations in football. I was asked to fix a game myself once, but I didn’t do it.
I never saw anything during my time at Burnley, but there was one incident while I was playing for Preston.
We were playing Bristol City, who were struggling in the table. We were favourites to win.
It was the morning of the match and two fellas came into the hotel where we were staying.
They met up with two of our players and went up to the room to talk with them.
When our players came back down they said we’ve been offered cash to throw the game.
I can’t remember exactly how much it was, but it was big money – maybe £1,000 to throw the game.
But I stood up and said, ‘I’m a professional, I don’t do that’.
I walked out of the room.
Another player did the same and followed me out of the room.
I don’t know what happened after that.
In the game that day, the player who had also walked out of the room crossed the ball and I headed in a goal from about 12 yards.
But there was a backpass that ended up with us conceding a goal, and another goal that you couldn’t believe.
I came into the dressing room and kicked the tea in the air.
I said, ‘Some of you players have thrown that match’.
There was an atmosphere between myself, the other player who walked out and the rest of the team after that.
If any players are found guilty of match fixing, they should never play football again.
You would hope that DJ Campbell is as professional as other Blackburn Rovers players, going out there and trying their hardest for the club.
What irks me is that I read yesterday that Campbell could earn around £500,000 in wages before April – the time he has been bailed until.
£500,000! That’s more than I earned in my whole career.
* IT will be a really strange feeling for Jay Rodriguez when he plays against Burnley for Southampton in the FA Cup next month.
I think it will be a hard game for him.
I played against Burnley for Brighton and it was really strange because these were people you knew so well and had had nights out with.
I didn’t want to go out on to the pitch but once you’re out there you do your best, you’re professional.
I’m sure that if he scored Jay wouldn’t celebrate, Burnley means so much to him.
And if he misses a sitter, don’t worry Jay, we’ll forgive you!