PUT YOUR SHIRT ON IT: Daniel Sturridge was fined and banned from football for six weeks after breaching gambling rules. AFP Photo
If you blinked last week you may well have missed something pretty shocking that happened to former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
The 29-year-old was banned from football for six weeks and fined a little over US$90,000 after he was found guilty of two charges of breaching FA betting rules.
He was convicted of passing on information to help his brother to make bets.
Sturridge told his brother to place large sums of money on the club he would be moving to.
He originally faced nine other similar charges, but was only found guilty of two.
As for his sentence, I’ve no doubt the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was passed.
Yes, he's been banned from playing football for six weeks, but four of those were suspended.
And as the season doesn’t start for two weeks, Sturridge won’t miss a single minute of action, should he find himself a new club before the end of the current transfer window.
He was fined as well, a pretty large amount, but for a man of his wealth it was the type of cash he wouldn’t really notice disappearing from his bank account.
Since the sentence was passed, other people in football have come out, and rightly in my opinion, said his punishment was far too lenient.
I find Sturridge a strange character.
From a football point of view, he is, or rather was, undoubtedly very talented, but Liverpool supporters, myself included, never really warmed to him.
On the pitch, he formed a devastating partnership with Luis Suarez, but it was always the Uruguayan who got the love.
This could have been something to do with the fact he played many times for Chelsea, Liverpool’s bitterest of rivals, and to a lesser extent, City.
Or maybe it was more because he always seemed very fragile and spent far too much time on the treatment table instead of the pitch.
Last season when he needed to step up he never really delivered, except on one occasion when he scored a late equiliser for the Reds against, of all teams, Chelsea.
He had chances in cup competitions but did little and I got the distinct impression he found himself with his nose pushed out of joint because he had dropped so far down the pecking order in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team.
But for me that is Sturridge all over.
He seems aloof, almost to the point of being sulky, reminding me of a teenage boy who gets miffed when he doesn’t get his own way.
He's maybe a little arrogant as well, and him leaving Liverpool at the end of this season is no great loss.
After he was sentenced for breaching gambling rules Sturridge issued a statement in which he said the past 15 months have been "extremely tough".
Maybe that’s why his performances dipped on the pitch, but what I can’t work out for the life of me is why on Earth did he do what he did?
He must have known that if he was caught, he would be in trouble. It’s just something you can’t do.
And to send messages via WhatApp to his brother telling him to put money on his potential transfers leaves a digital paper trail.
He was either really, really stupid or just thought he wouldn’t be found out.
Well sorry Dan, you were.
And now the Football Association is planning on appealing his sentence because they too think he got off too lightly.
Could he end up getting his ban increased? I wouldn’t bet against it.