Grobbelaar part of match-rigging syndicate-claim - Reuters 05.06.1997
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar deliberately tried to throw premier league soccer matches in return for large sums of money, a British court heard on Thursday.
Prosecutor David Calvert Smith opened his case by telling the jury that Grobbelaar and three co-defendants had been involved in a scheme to rig matches for an Asian betting syndicate over a number of years.
Grobbelaar was paid 40,000 pounds ($65,000) for throwing a match against Newcastle in November 1993 when playing for Liverpool and also tried to influence games after he moved to Southampton in 1994, he said.
Grobbelaar, former Wimbledon and Aston Villa striker John Fashanu, former Wimbledon goalkeeper Hans Segers and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim all deny the charges. Grobbelaar is also charged with taking 2,000 pounds ($3,300) as an inducement to rig games.
If convicted the four face up to seven years in jail and an unlimited fine. The first attempt to try them ended in early March when the jury failed to agree a verdict on any of the charges.
Calvert Smith said Lim and Fashanu acted as middlemen for the syndicate while Grobbelaar and Segers -- who at the time was playing for Wimbledon -- were trying to let in goals on the pitch. "If you are a betting man, and wish to tip the odds in your favour, and you are going to approach a single player, the goalkeeper is the most obvious person to approach, because he can have the most dramatic and direct effect upon the result of a match," he said.
"If a goalkeeper (allows) the ball to roll through his legs, without making any attempt to stop it, (a) he wouldn't be picked next week, and (b) everybody would realise he was up to something, so there is a limit to what can be achieved.
"However, goalkeepers do make genuine mistakes and therefore the odd deliberate mistake may escape notice."
Calvert Smith said chief prosecution witness Christopher Vincent, a former friend and business associate of Grobbelaar, would testify that the goalkeeper had admitted working for the syndicate.
Grobbelaar jury shown goalmouth incidents on TV - Press Association 07.06.1997
The jury hearing the retrial of three soccer stars who face match fixing allegations were yesterday shown excerpts of goalmouth incidents involving former Liverpool star Bruce Grobbelaar.
Curtains were drawn as the jury of six men and six women watched the footage on a television screen in court room number three at Winchester Crown Court.
They saw the 39-year-old Zimbabwean international make two saves when he played for Liverpool in what has been described as a "tremendous match'' when they drew with Manchester United 3-3 in January, 1994.
They also watched as Grobbelaar saved in a game between Liverpool and Norwich the following month, which was drawn 2-2, and saw a goal scored against him by Coventry in September 1994, after Grobbelaar had moved to Southampton.
Grobbelaar, the former Aston Villa and England striker John Fashanu, 34, the former Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers, 35, and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 31, are accused of involvement in a plot to fix games for the benefit of a Far East betting syndicate.
David Calvert Smith, QC prosecuting, referred the jury to a secretly recorded conversation between Grobbelaar and his former business partner, Christopher Vincent, filmed after Mr Vincent had approached The Sun newspaper, in which the goalkeeper mentions the games.
The jury put on headphones to listen to some of the conversation, filmed in a Southampton hotel room.
They have been told that, mentioning the Manchester United game, Grobbelaar said he lost £125,000 when diving the wrong way he instinctively made two "blinding saves''. The goalkeeper agreed on the tape a save against Norwich had come when the ball hit his feet.
In a further conversation Grobbelaar talks of pushing the ball into the back of the net against Coventry two minutes into the game. But Southampton came back and "steamrollered'', winning 3-1.
Lim, Fashanu and Segers are accused that between February 1, 1991 and November 9, 1994, they conspired corruptly to give and accept gifts of money as inducements improperly to influence or attempt to influence the outcome of football matches or as rewards for having done so.
A second charge against Lim, Fashanu and Grobbelaar alleges a similar conspiracy between November 1, 1992 and November 9, 1994.
Grobbelaar is also accused of corruptly accepting £2,000 from Mr Vincent on November 3, 1994, for improperly influencing or attempting to influence the outcome of a match or matches.
The hearing, which could last up to eight weeks, was adjourned until Monday.
Match Fix Jury Sees 'Grobbelaar Sting Video' - Press Association 13.06.1997
The jury hearing the retrial of three soccer stars accused of taking part in a plot involving a Far East betting syndicate to fix games saw a recording yesterday of a so-called "sting'' operation against former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.
Curtains were drawn in the court room at Winchester as the six men and six women on the jury, together with the accused, barristers and judge put on headphones and watched a video tape of a hotel room meeting between Grobbelaar and his former business partner, Christopher Vincent.
Mr Vincent told the jury he approached The Sun newspaper with allegations of match fixing against the goalkeeper after he and Grobbelaar fell out over a safari business in which, the court heard, Grobbelaar had lost an investment of £55,000.
Agreeing he was paid by The Sun for his story, Mr Vincent said he had also received other payments, including one for a book deal.
He described how, after approaching The Sun, he contacted Grobbelaar in September 1994 and arranged to meet him at a hotel north of London, where he told him about a bogus betting syndicate.
The jury was told Mr Vincent and Grobbelaar arranged to meet again at a hotel in Southampton on Grobbelaar's birthday in October that year. After playing snooker, the two men went to Mr Vincent's room at the hotel where a video recording was secretly made of their conversation.
The court heard that Mr Vincent once again referred to the bogus syndicate and during the conversation Grobbelaar said he had lost £125,000 when he instinctively made two blinding saves in a game between Liverpool and Manchester United.
Mr Vincent said the bogus syndicate were prepared to pay Grobbelaar £2,000 every two weeks until he picked a game and if he "dipped in'' on that game he could get "100g's''.
The trial was adjourned until today.
Jury told of Grobbelaar's £40,000 collection' from Press Association - 13.06.1997
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar collected £40,000 in cash after meeting fellow soccer star John Fashanu, a court heard yesterday.
Grobbelaar picked up the cash after Liverpool lost to Newcastle in November, 1993, the jury at Winchester Crown Court was told.
The goalkeeper's former business partner, Christopher Vincent, told the court that he and Grobbelaar flew to London and then drove to an address in Byron Drive, East Finchley.
John Fashanu came out of the house and shook hands with Grobbelaar, and the two footballers then went inside.
When Grobbelaar left he threw his briefcase on to the back seat of the car, and said he wanted to get out of the area fast.
Mr Vincent said that as he and Grobbelaar drove towards Harrods, in London's Knightsbridge, Grobbelaar told him to open the briefcase.
In it, Mr Vincent said, he found a large sealed brown envelope which Grobbelaar said contained £40,000.
Mr Vincent said he opened the envelope and counted the money, which was in four £10,000 blocks, each made up of £50 notes.
The prosecution alleges that former Liverpool and Southampton 'keeper Grobbelaar, 39, former Wimbledon goalkeeper Hans Segers, 35, former Aston Villa and Wimbledon striker Fashanu, 34, and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 31, were involved in a plot involving a Far Eastern betting syndicate.
The prosecution alleges that Gladiators television presenter Fashanu was a middle man and Lim represented the syndicate in this country.
Lim, Fashanu, and Segers are accused that between February 1, 1991, and November 9, 1994, they conspired corruptly to give and accept gifts of money as inducements improperly to influence or attempt to influence the outcome of football matches or as rewards for having done so.
A second charge against Lim, Fashanu and Grobbelaar, alleges a similar conspiracy between November 1, 1992 and November 9, 1994.
Zimbabwe international Grobbelaar is also accused of corruptly accepting £2,000 from Mr Vincent for improperly influencing or attempting to influence the outcome of a football match or matches.
All four men deny all the charges.
Mr Vincent said that in February 1994, on the night before the Norwich v Liverpool game, Grobbelaar made a late night drive to London to meet the man the prosecution says was the representative of a Far East betting syndicate.
Mr Vincent added that he drove with Grobbelaar from the Liverpool team hotel in Norwich to the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane.
Grobbelaar went inside and when he returned he said he had met the Short Man and the Short Man's boss.
The goalkeeper said they had asked him about the game with Norwich and whether they should "go big'', said Mr Vincent.
Grobbelaar allegedly said: "I told them to go big, I'm going to do the business there.''
Mr Vincent said Grobbelaar told him he would be paid £80,000 if Liverpool lost and he had an envelope which he said contained £500 given him by the Short Man for his expenses that night.
The game with Norwich ended in a draw and Mr Vincent, who attended the match, said a goal was saved when Grobbelaar dived and the ball hit his feet.
After the match, he followed the Liverpool team coach and when it reached the M1 Grobbelaar and footballer Nigel Clough got into his car, he said.
After they had dropped off Mr Clough, Grobbelaar switched on his mobile phone.
"I remember him saying `Look at this, there's 15 incoming calls here, I'm telling you that's the Short Man and he's going to be as mad as a snake','' said Mr Vincent.
Grobbelaar Business Partner Quizzed Over Safari Investment - Press Association 14.06.1997
The former business partner of Bruce Grobbelaar faced questions yesterday about money the top-rated goalkeeper had invested in his company.
A jury has been told that Grobbelaar lost £55,000 he put into a failed safari business project set up by Christopher Vincent, who was giving evidence in the retrial of the former Liverpool and Southampton keeper and two other soccer stars who face match fixing allegations.
Rodney Klevan, QC for Grobbelaar, told Mr Vincent that the goalkeeper must have appeared "like Manna from heaven''.
He questioned Mr Vincent on three other failed businesses he had been involved in and about his 1992 meeting with his fellow Zimbabwean Grobbelaar in a Chester wine bar to ask him to invest in the safari project.
Mr Vincent agreed he "did not have a penny'' of his own money to put into the project and if it had succeeded he would have lived "exceptionally well''.
He said Grobbelaar was eager to invest in the company and the two men became friends. The day after their meeting Grobbelaar had given him a cheque for £5,000 which he had cashed and then flown out to Zimbabwe to start negotiating land acquisitions.
Mr Vincent said he may have paid an outstanding rent bill and other bills from the money and added: ``He invested in the business and from that point on my expenses in the UK would have been withdrawn from the account.''
Mr Klevan said that at the time Mr Vincent was on his "uppers''.
"Once you got your hands on Mr Grobbelaar's money you were sitting pretty,'' he declared.
Mr Vincent said all his expenses in the UK were related to setting up the venture and he was not drawing a formal salary from the company.
He was also asked about payments he had received or expected, including money from The Sun newspaper and a deal he had entered into with publishers for a book to be called, Betrayal of Trust, the Inside Story of the Biggest Scandal in British Sporting History.
"There is not an area you have not considered in order to make money out of this trial, is that right?'' asked Mr Klevan.
"Correct, sir,'' said Mr Vincent.
Earlier, the jury of six men and six women at Winchester Crown Court had seen on video Grobbelaar take a package said to contain £2,000 during a so-called "sting'' operation.
They watched the secretly-filmed video of Mr Vincent and Grobbelaar in a Southampton flat in November 1994, and saw Mr Vincent throw the package on to a settee. Later Grobbelaar picked up the package and threw it back on to the settee.
There was further conversation between the two men and Mr Vincent then picked up the package and handed it to Grobbelaar, who put it in his jacket pocket.
The jury has been told the money was supposedly a payment from a bogus betting syndicate.
The trial was adjourned until Monday.
Throwing Matches Suggestions Disgusted Me - Grobbelaar from "Press Association" 15.07.1997
Former Liverpool keeper Bruce Grobbelaar has told a jury he had been "disgusted'' when it was suggested to him that he could make money by throwing games.
He said he told his former business partner Christopher Vincent he was a "bloody fool'' for making the suggestion.
"I said he was stupid. No-one could ever throw a game and why was he asking me this?'' said Grobbelaar.
A jury at Winchester Crown Court, where Grobbelaar denies match fixing allegations, has heard the suggestion was made as part of a so called "sting'' operation set up by a newspaper.
Grobbelaar told the court that he had invested £50,000 in a company set up by Mr Vincent to run a safari project in Zimbabwe. He lost his money and, he said, he could not find out from Mr Vincent where it had gone.
In September, 1994, he said, Mr Vincent contacted him and said he had met two people at Chester races and, if he wanted, he could get his money back very quickly.
"I asked him what for, and he said for you to throw games for the team I was playing for,'' said Grobbelaar, who by then had joined Southampton football club.
Grobbelaar said he was worried and wanted to find out who was behind the scheme. "In the past he had used my name to get money out of people and I really didn't know what he was doing this time,'' he said.
The goalkeeper said he arranged to meet Mr Vincent again. "I didn't know what he was doing, what he was up to. I decided to go along with him to see where he was coming from,'' he said.
Grobbelaar said he planned to get evidence to expose Mr Vincent and find out the people behind the scheme. To gain Mr Vincent's confidence he talked about games he had played in between Liverpool and Newcastle, a game with Manchester United and a game between Coventry and Southampton.
But, said the goalkeeper, he had never tried to fix those games and, he earlier told the jury, he had never tried to fix any football match.
The jury has seen secretly filmed meetings between Grobbelaar and Mr Vincent, during which the goalkeeper is seen putting a package containing £2,000, said to come from the bogus betting syndicate, into his jacket pocket.
Grobbelaar said he had taken the money as evidence against Mr Vincent, and he intended going to the football authorities and police to expose him.
The former Reds and Southampton goalkeeper Grobbelaar, 39, the former Aston Villa and Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, 34, the former Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers, 35, and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 32, are alleged by the prosecution to have been part of a plot involving a Far Eastern betting syndicate to fix the results of Premier League games.
Grobbelaar, who spoke of the disasters at Heysel and Hillsborough, began his evidence today by telling the jury of his love for Liverpool and the special bond he felt with the club and its fans which, he said, was as strong today as when he signed for the club in 1981.
His counsel, Rodney Klevan QC, said the consequences of the allegations made against him was that he had let those people down and he asked if there was any truth in them. "There is no truth whatsoever,'' said Grobbelaar.
The goalkeeper said he had provided forecasts and match information for Lim, alleged by the prosecution to have been the representative of a Far Eastern betting syndicate, but had never thrown games.
He denied evidence from Mr Vincent that, following a Liverpool defeat by Newcastle in November, 1993, he had gone to the North London home of Fashanu and collected £40,000. Mr Vincent told the court the goalkeeper gave him £20,000, which he used to make various payments on Grobbelaar's behalf.
Grobbelaar said he had given Mr Vincent £20,000 about a week before, which came from cash he had earned making after dinner speeches and coaching, and which he kept in a bedroom drawer and had not disclosed to the Inland Revenue.
He said he had intended that Mr Vincent should take the money out to South Africa as a deposit on a plot of land he wanted to buy.
Grobbelaar Jury Hears Of 'Sting' Operation - Press Association" 18.07.1997
Goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar has said that he would prefer a jury hearing match fix allegations against him did not see further transcripts of conversations he had with a former business partner.
The court has heard the conversations were secretly filmed during a so-called "sting'' operation against the goalkeeper when his business partner, Christopher Vincent, approached a newspaper after the two men fell out over a safari project.
The former Liverpool and Southampton goalkeeper was questioned yesterday by the prosecution about the tapes which have been played to the jury and which they were told had been edited to exclude matters which were not relevant.
During the cross-examination Grobbelaar said that the jury had only heard extracts from the tapes that ran in total for about five hours.
At the end of the afternoon the judge, Mr Justice McCoullough, said the jury had asked to see a transcript of any further conversation that Grobbelaar considered relevant.
He told the goalkeeper: "If there is anything relevant in any other part of the five hours you think the jury ought to have in order to fully understand your case, would you please identify it.''
Grobbelaar replied: "With respect, I would rather the jury didn't see this. It has got nothing to do with this case and it probably puts me in a worse light than I am.''
The judge said the jury were not asking to hear everything, but if there was something which he felt would assist his case they would like to see it.
The goalkeeper's counsel, Rodney Klevan, QC said: "There is no other material which will help the jury.''
The court has heard the conversations were filmed after Mr Vincent had approached Grobbelaar on behalf of a bogus betting syndicate.
During the conversations the goalkeeper refers to games between Liverpool and Newcastle, Liverpool and Norwich, Southampton and Coventry and a forthcoming match between Southampton and Manchester City.
He also says he lost £125,000 when he instinctively made two "blinding'' saves in a game between Liverpool and Manchester United in January, 1994.
But the goalkeeper has told the jury he was only stringing Mr Vincent along to find out who was behind the suggestion that he throw games. He said he was gathering evidence against Mr Vincent and intended to expose him to the authorities.
David Calvert Smith QC, prosecuting, asked how boasting to Mr Vincent about a corrupt scheme he had been involved with would get him any closer to finding out who was behind Mr Vincent.
Grobbelaar replied: "I was just letting him know I was his man. I wanted to know where Mr Vincent was coming from and to what extent he had used my name.''
He said Mr Vincent had disgusted him when he suggested he should throw games and he wanted to find out what he was up to.
The judge said: "You did tell a far more elaborate story than was necessary for your purpose.''
Grobbelaar replied: "Mr Vincent liked elaborate stories.''
The goalkeeper said what he was telling Mr Vincent had been made up.
"Do you think I would throw away 13 years of my life at Liverpool football club, going through two tragedies with the fans there? You are absolutely wrong,'' he said.
The trial was adjourned until today.
'I See No Evidence Of Match Fixing' Bob Wilson Tells Soccer Trial from - Press Association 19.07.1997
Television soccer pundit Bob Wilson told a jury he had studied videos of games featuring goalkeepers Bruce Grobbelaar and Hans Segers and seen no evidence of match fixing.
The former international and Arsenal goalkeeper said he had repeatedly viewed five videos of games involving Grobbelaar and 19 of games featuring Segers.
He said there was absolutely no suggestion Grobbelaar had attempted to fix the result of any of his games. Of Segers he said there was nothing untoward in any of the games and the keeper had done his best in every match.
The witness was giving evidence in the retrial at Winchester of the former Liverpool and Southampton keeper Grobbelaar, 39, the former Wimbledon keeper Segers, 35, the former Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, 34 and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 32.
The prosecution claim they were part of a plot involving a Far Eastern betting syndicate to rig the results of Premier league matches and they allege Lim was the representative of the syndicate and Fashanu a middle man.
Mr Wilson said he believed Grobbelaar to be a great goalkeeper, whose style had made every other keeper consider whether he was doing enough in his job.
He saw videos of games between Newcastle and Liverpool in November 1993, Liverpool and Manchester United in January, 1994, Norwich and Liverpool in February, 1994, Coventry and Southampton in September 1994 and Manchester City and Southampton in November 1994.
All the games have featured in the case and the prosecution claims that after the Newcastle game, which resulted in a 3-0 defeat for Liverpool, Grobbelaar collected £40,000 - an allegation he denies.
Mr Wilson said in the Newcastle game Grobbelaar had virtually no chance with the first goal, absolutely no chance with the other goals and he had made three excellent saves.
In the Manchester United game, which resulted in a 3-3 draw, he had no chance in the goals scored against him and had made two saves that were of the highest order at any level in the world, which had kept his side in the game.
He could not have saved the two goals scored against him in the Norwich game and had made a "truly outstanding'' save.
The jury have heard secretly filmed conversations between Grobbelaar and his former business partner, Christopher Vincent, during a so-called "sting'' operation after Mr Vincent had said there was a bogus betting syndicate willing to pay the goalkeeper money.
During the conversations Grobbelaar speaks of the games and mentions pushing the ball into the back of the net in the Coventry match. The goalkeeper says this and other references to games, were to string Mr Vincent along so he could gain evidence against him and find out who was behind a bogus betting syndicate.
Mr Wilson told the jury that Grobbelaar had made a tremendous, agile attempt to keep the ball out of the net in the Coventry game, which Southampton won, and had not helped it into the goal.
In the Manchester City game, which resulted in a draw, he had made three "absolutely outstanding'' saves and was not at fault in the goals scored against him.
The witness told the jury that Segers had the fastest feet of any goalkeeper in the modern game. The 19 games he watched featured 478 incidents involving Segers and he had seen absolutely nothing untoward and some amazing saves.
In an end of season game with Everton in 1994, when Everton scored a winning goal in the dying minutes of the match, Segers position when the ball had been struck had been perfect. But the ball was mis-hit and reared off the bumpy surface and there was no criticism of the goalkeeper.
"I think he did his best in every single game I watched,'' said Mr Wilson.
Retrial near conclusion from - Nando Times 28.07.1997.
WINCHESTER, England (Jul 28, 1997 - 12:04 EDT) - The judge hearing the retrial of three footballers accused of match-fixing is expected to begin his summing-up on Tuesday.
Mr Justice McCullough will sum up the case at the end of the eighth week of the retrial of former Liverpool and Southampton goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, 39, former Aston Villa and Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, 34, and former Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers, 35.
Together with Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 32, they are accused of being part of a plot involving a Far East betting syndicate to rig the results of English Premiership matches.
The judge is expected to finish his summing up and the jury is expected to return its verdicts on Friday or early next week.
Grobbelaar's lawyer, Rodney Klevan QC told the jury of six women and five men that videos they had seen of games he played in proved the goalkeeper had never thrown a match or tried to do so.
He reminded the jury that England's former World Cup winning keeper Gordon Banks and England's former captain Jimmy Armfield had all said they had seen nothing untoward after watching videos of games featuring Grobbelaar.
"If you can't find anything he did wrong, it is unlikely he ever agreed to do anything wrong, because otherwise it is absurd," said Mr Klevan.
Klevan attacked chief prosecution witness Christopher Vincent, a former friend and business partner of Grobbelaar, accusing him of treachery and telling lies to the jury.
He said Vincent stood to gain financially if there was a conviction in the trial.
"He defiles this case. He might as well have taken the oath on a cheque book. He is not objective, he is not balanced, he is not telling the truth," said Klevan.
The counsel added: "If Vincent benefits by a finding against Grobbelaar, so be it. If he makes his money, so be it.
"But all I ask you, please, is make sure you get it right before that man Vincent triumphs in the wake of your verdict."
Judge Asks: What Was The Money For? - Press Association 31.07.1997
The jury hearing allegations of match-fixing against three soccer stars has been asked to consider the reason John Fashanu had received money from a Far Eastern businessman.
On the second day of his summing up, Mr Justice McCullough asked the jury to think about why exactly thousands of pounds Fashanu had received from businessman Johannes Joseph was handed over. There was no evidence that the money was for loans or for joint investment, the judge said.
Former Liverpool and Southampton goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, 39, former Aston Villa and Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, 34, former Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers, 35, and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim, 32, deny charges of conspiring to give and accept corrupt payments. The prosecution alleges they were part of a plot involving a Far Eastern betting syndicate to rig the results of English premier league games.
During the trial the court was told that the cash was sent to Fashanu to reinvest in projects in Africa and other joint business ventures. But Mr Justice McCullough said there was no evidence to indicate that Fashanu had done anything other than to use it for himself.
He said: "If you think you can safely rule out the possibility the money was coming by way of loans so that he could invest it on Mr Joseph's behalf, what is left? If you come to the conclusion it can only have been payment for a service, what was the service?''
Earlier the judge had asked the jury to re-examine charts of the series of phone calls made between Lim, Fashanu and Grobbelaar. He said the jury should consider whether the calls related to forecasting matches or match-fixing.
Mr Burke said Fashanu had called Segers 99 times and Grobbelaar 54 times. In the same period he had called Aston Villa goalkeeper Mark Bosnich 228 times and Wimbledon colleagues Roger Joseph 123 times and Vinny Jones 212 times.
Lim, Fashanu and Segers deny that between February 1, 1991, and November 9, 1994, they corruptly conspired together to give and accept gifts of money improperly to influence or attempt to influence the outcome of football matches, or as rewards for having done so.
Lim, Fashanu and Grobbelaar deny a similar charge of conspiracy between November 1, 1992, and November 9, 1994. Grobbelaar also denies corruptly accepting £2,000 for improperly influencing or attempting to influence the outcome of a football match or matches.
The Beginning and aftermathNOVEMBER 1994 - Football world stunned when the Sun publishes allegations that Grobbelaar has taken bribes to fix matches.