PUNTERS with Sportsbet.com.au who backed Essendon in any market for the 2016 AFL season might be upset that their side has been ravaged by the decision to suspend 12 of its players over the supplements scandal, but at least they won’t be out of pocket.
The online bookmaker has this morning refunded all bets placed on the club for the 2016 season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld WADA’s appeal in the three year old case and 34 players would be suspended for 12 months.
And the Bombers have had a massive fall from grace with the bookmaker, their price for the flag wound out from $67 to $1001. They are priced at $501 to make the Top four and $51 to make the Top eight.
Sportsbet.com.au is calling it a “justice refund” and it involves 27 markets on the Bombers, including its round one match against the Gold Coast Suns, to win the flag, minor premiership and make the top four and top eight.
Punters who placed individual bets on players for the Brownlow and Coleman medals, and All Australian selections, will also have their money back.
“Punters backed the Bombers in good faith believing they would have their full squad on the park in 2016,” the bookie’s Ben Bulmer said
“As that is no longer the case, the right thing to do is refund their money.”
The Bombers have been removed from the book makers premiership market all together.
Sportsbet’s 2016 AFL Least Wins market remains suspended.
The remarkable decision marks perhaps the darkest day in a gloomy three years that has seen a club at loggerheads with the AFL tear itself apart from within and tarnish the reputations of many, including one of its greatest players, former coach James Hird, who was at the helm when the saga was revealed.
Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner said in a statement: “Regrettably we can confirm the Court of Arbitration for Sport has found 34 past and present players guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation.
“As a result, the players — including 12 currently listed with Essendon — have been suspended for the 2016 season. The club is currently digesting the decision and we will provide a further update later today.”
In a statement, CAS found “to its comfortable satisfaction” that the 34 players had been injected with the banned peptide Thymosin beta-4 violating the code and found by a majority that all players were “significantly at fault”.
“The 34 players concerned are sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 31 March 2015, with credit given for any individual period of ineligibility already served,” CAS said.
2016 AFL premiership market
Hawthorn Hawks ($4)
West Coast Eagles ($6)
Fremantle Dockers ($9)
Geelong Cats ($10)
Port Adelaide Power ($11)
Sydney Swans ($12)
Richmond Tigers ($13)
Western Bulldogs ($18)
North Melbourne Kangaroos ($18)
Adelaide Crows ($21)
Greater Western Sydney Giants ($23)
Collingwood Magpies ($23)
Gold Coast Suns ($51)
Melbourne Demons ($101)
St Kilda Saints ($101)
Brisbane Lions ($151)
Carlton Blues ($251)
The Essendon 34: What it means for the clubs
STILL AT ESSENDON
Talk about ripping the heart and soul out of a club. The Bombers may as well mail in 2016 and shift their focus onto 2017. Eleven of the 12 players are in the Bombers’ best 22, headed by the Star Heppell and oft injured Brownlow Medallist Jobe Watson. The Bombers have won special permission from the AFL to recruit from outside the league to ensure they have enough players to field a side, but they will just be making up the numbers this year. It gives an opportunity for some VFL guys to show their wares on the big stage, who might not otherwise get the chance. The biggest beneficiaries out of this will be the punters who loaded up on the Bombers to win the wooden spoon before the decision – and Carlton, who might just avoid the wooden spoon.
Crameri has been one of the best forwards in a side that had struggled to find real key avenues to goal until last year. They have the great white hope in Matty Boyd and his massive contract, but he is yet to deliver on the potential so many are touting. The brilliance of The Package Jake Stringer and unheralded VFL boy Tory Dickson, who both kicked more than 50 goals last year, will become even more important, but their development, combined with the potential emergence of Jack Redpath, should soften the blow slightly, but punters will be slightly more wary a the quote of
Blessing in disguise now they don’t have to pay a middling footballer a serious salary. Melksham was traded to Melbourne for a second round pick and the Demons might have been the only club who thought he was worth a four year contract, reportedly worth some $400,000 per year. Melksham played 114 games with the Bombers, but you could count the stand out performances on one hand, no where near the lofty expectations of a top 10 draft pick. Was touted to play off half back for the Demons. Some one else will have to step up for the developing side. They were never really in the hunt for finals or the premiership before the decision, so there won’t be much impact on betting here.
Massive blow for the men from Alberton. Ryder, who finished ninth in the club’s best and fairest voting last season, is one of the best ruck men in the game and was hoped to be a key figure in the Power’s resurgence in 2016. It puts the heat on Matthew Lobbe to lift his game to a new level, while Justin Westhoff and boom recruit Charlie Dixon will probably have to spend time pinch hitting in the middle to give him a break. Monfries booted 39 goals in his first season with the Power, before moving into a role where he spent more time in the club’s engine room in the guts. Has 44 goals across the past two seasons and will be a massive loss as a midfielder with a nose for the big sticks. Apart from the Bombers, this impacts on the Power the greatest, with the club’s hopeful tilt at the 2016 AFL premiership in tatters. Punters beware, you don’t easily replace guys of this calibre.
If the Saints thought they bought a lemon after his controversial Snap Chat, this all but confirms it. A man of prodigious talent, but lacking in application, Carlisle was set to add size and toughness to the Saints’ backline in 2016. Now he will sit on the pine for 12 months. Out of all the players to cop bans, it could impact on Carlisle the most, with fears a lack of footy could impact on his ability to keep focus on the game. On the betting front, the young Saints are still a few years away from making a finals impact, but this is a setback they didn’t need in their rebuild, which was starting to bear early fruit in 2015.
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