Paddy Power in Trouble After Offering Odds on a Dead Man

Betting operator Paddy Power has landed in hot water after offering odds on an ex-footballer coming back from the dead to manage Birmingham City FC.

Ugo Ehiogu

Paddy Power receives a public lashing after offering betting odds on the recently deceased Ugo Ehiogu. (Image: Wiki/Ben Sutherland)

Following the sacking of Harry Redknapp on September 16, Paddy Power was quick to jump on the action and put up a betting market speculating on his replacement.

Alongside established coaches such as Sam Allardyce and Frank de Boer, Paddy Power’s odds makers decided to have add some of customary outside bets.

A Critical Oversight Causes Backlash

Birmingham native Ozzy Osbourne was one of the exotic options rated at 2,500/1, but the one outlier that caused a stir was Ugo Ehiogu. The former centre back died on April 21, 2017, after collapsing due to a cardiac arrest at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground.

Despite being mainstream news, an employee at Paddy Power listed Ehiogu as a possible replacement for Redknapp with odds of 66/1. Observant fans spotted the error and were quick to brand the operator as “sick” via Twitter.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power was quick to tweet an apology and explain that is was a “genuine error” brought about by an employee using an old template and not removing Ehiogu’s name.

A History of Media Meltdowns

Once the mistake was discovered, the market was removed without anyone placing a bet on the deceased player. However, despite issuing an apology, this isn’t the first time Paddy Power has made a media misstep.

Early this year, the Irish operator was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a tweet about the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight was seen as potentially racist. Promoting its early payout on a Mayweather victory, Paddy Power’s tweet instructed followers to “always bet on black.”

Going back further, Paddy Power adverts featuring the Last Supper, a cat being kicked during a blind football match and odds on OAPs being struck while on a zebra crossing have all caused offence.

Although these incidents aren’t cause for the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to revoke the operator’s gaming licence, they have hurt Paddy Power’s reputation on a number of occasions.

Of course, there is a school of thought which suggests that all publicity, no matter how negative, is good publicity, but it’s unlikely punters will feel this way about the latest incident.

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