January 17, 2024

It’s ‘tough’ to find out about a ‘hidden’ habit like Sandro Tonali’s gambling addiction, thus Newcastle United can afford to be forgiven for their ignorance.


Neil Whitbread, who worked as an investigator for the Metropolitan Police for almost 25 years, holds this opinion. Currently, he manages investigations for the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). In his capacity, Whitbread assists football teams in conducting incredibly thorough due research on potential additions.


It is important to note that Newcastle spent a great deal of time and effort investigating players’ backgrounds, and the Magpies had investigated Tonali before spending £55 million to acquire the Italy international from AC Milan. Tonali’s gambling problems had not been brought to the attention of the Italian Football Federation, which is why the organization’s subsequent inquiry and 10-month ban were unexpected.


There is “certainly no way we could have known,” according to Eddie Howe, the Newcastle manager, who also emphasized that there are “some things you will never know about someone’s personal life.” Could I have done better? Dan Ashworth asked himself, but the sporting director conceded that “it’s a tricky one what you can and can’t know about people in this world.” Similarly, Whitbread reflected that this was ‘not the old days of footballers walking down to the bookies’.


He told the Athletic, “I wouldn’t lay any criticism at Newcastle here.” “I’m not sure what procedures they followed in the vicinity of it. Did they go as far as they could have?


They might not have discovered that. We might not have discovered that. We won’t just sit here and claim that we know every detail of someone’s personal life. Most of it is discoverable, but it might be challenging if someone truly wishes to keep anything private.”


Were you aware that WhatsApp allows you to receive daily NUFC news as soon as it happens directly to your device? It’s too good to miss out on the January transfer window.

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