Aston Villa: Hard to sympathise with Nicolo Zaniolo saga after BK8 deal

By Kieran Maguire

4th Nov, 2023 | 6:00am

Kieran Maguire drops 'tawdry' Aston Villa verdict after Nicolo Zaniolo news

It is ‘hard to feel sympathy’ for Aston Villa over Nicolo Zaniolo’s situation given they partnered with a betting company.

That is the view of finance expert Kieran Maguire, who exclusively told Football Insider that Villa’s deal with BK8 means it would be hypocritical to feel sympathy over Zaniolo’s situation.

The 24-year-old midfielder is under investigation for illegal betting breaches in Italy, similar to Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali.

The Magpies midfielder was handed a 10-month suspension for betting breaches.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Zaniolo flew to Turin to speak to investigators but insists he has never bet on the sport.

Zaniolo signed for Villa on a season-long loan from Turkish Super League champions Galatasaray this summer.

Maguire explained that betting has become a ‘broader issue’ in football.

It’s exactly the same risk as signing a player who has suffered a serious injury such as an ACL,” Maguire told Football Insider’s Sean Fisher.

So it’s part of the business.

I think it’s a much broader issue in terms of this ongoing relationship between the betting industry and young footballers who have significant amounts of cash.

They have a competitive nature.

They are attractive VIP customers to the betting industry who don’t seem to make a huge effort to screen things.

It was an illegal gambling operation that he’s alleged to have been involved with and there will always be those.

But it’s hypocritical to feel a lot of sympathy for Villa considering they recently decided to partner with a rather tawdry gambling organisation themselves.

So it is hard to feel sympathy for them.

In other news, Aston Villa to accept Traore offer after Emery green light