Buzz - On the Take..?


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    News Corp journalist Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield received payments from controversial gambler Eddie Hayson

    Nick McKenzie Kate McClymont

    One of News Corp’s best-known sports reporters has received payments from Eddie Hayson, the controversial gambler alleged to be at the centre of some of the most sensational betting scandals in rugby league and racing.

    The multiple cash deposits into the TAB account of Phil “Buzz” Rothfield, the sports editor-at-large at the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, are just some of Mr Hayson’s unusual financial transactions that are being scrutinised by authorities.

    Text messages obtained by Fairfax Media reveal that Mr Hayson has used his friendship with Rothfield to threaten those chasing him for money.

    In a text message sent in July last year, Mr Hayson gave one person three days to withdraw demands for repayment “or there is a picture of you going in the paper … Rothfield will love it”.

    It is not suggested that Rothfield was aware of these threats or has had any involvement in the activities which have seen Mr Hayson investigated by police over the last decade.

    In 2014, Mr Hayson lost control of Sydney’s most notorious brothel, Stiletto, and declared himself insolvent with debts of $52 million. He currently owes millions of dollars to a raft of characters including drug dealers, footballers, jockeys, boxers, family, friends and a convicted murderer.

    The veteran journalist said he had never done any favours for Mr Hayson or allowed their dealings to influence his reporting. “I can’t protect Eddie and I wouldn’t,” he said.

    However, Rothfield has written numerous favourable accounts of the exploits of Mr Hayson, who has a string of underworld contacts and questionable dealings – while at the same time accepting betting winnings from him.

    When Mr Hayson received a six-month ban from racetracks over his role in the 2013 More Joyous affair, Rothfield came to his defence, claiming Mr Hayson had done nothing “but getting a tip that More Joyous was crook before a Group 1 race”.

    A stewards’ inquiry heard that Mr Hayson’s mate, former football great Andrew Johns, tipped off Mr Hayson that John Singleton’s mare More Joyous was “off”.

    Johns told Mr Hayson the information came from Tom Waterhouse, the son of the horse’s trainer, Gai. All were cleared of wrongdoing except for Mr Hayson, who was banned from racetracks for six months.

    In June, when allegations surfaced that Mr Hayson was embroiled in a NSW police investigation into allegations of match-fixing over a 2015 match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles, Rothfield published an “exclusive” quoting Mr Hayson saying the match-fixing allegations were “the figment of someone’s imagination”.

    Mr Hayson said in the article he couldn’t remember what he had done on that occasion as “I have a lot of bets on sport every weekend”.

    But Rothfield did not reveal to his readers or editors the extent of his own betting forays with Mr Hayson.

    Rothfield told Fairfax Media there was nothing untoward about the pair’s dealings. “I’ve known him for 10 years and we are mates, and mates always have a punt together.”

    He gave Mr Hayson tips and Mr Hayson would bet for or with him, sometimes covering the bet, Rothfield said.

    Asked how much he had received from Mr Hayson, Rothfield said: “I honestly don’t know how much it is. I’d be stunned if it was more than two or two and a half grand.”

    Fairfax Media can reveal that Mr Hayson’s most recent payment into Rothfield’s betting account occurred in December last year and involved a cash deposit of $2000.

    According to TAB regulations, only the named account holder can operate their TAB account. When questioned as to why he allowed Mr Hayson to make cash payments into his betting account, Rothfield replied: “It’s just like a bank account. There is no money laundering.”

    The journalist also revealed that Mr Hayson had been a great contact who had given him some of his best stories over the years and that he had given the underworld figure tickets to the NRL “three or four times.”

    “I get tickets for all my contacts,” Rothfield said.

    The journalist later claimed that he had paid for the tickets to events such as the NRL grand final and that Mr Hayson had reimbursed him.

    The Daily Telegraph reporter, who has been a journalist for more than 40 years, claimed there was no reason to disclose his financial dealings with Mr Hayson to his editors.

    “Mates punt together and get tickets for each other,” he said.

    According to News Corp’s code of ethics: “Failure to notify the editor and managing editor of any real or potential conflict of interest may result in dismissal.”

    The code of ethics also states the “rewards or compensation” for information “must not be given without the group editorial director’s approval.”

    A spokesman for the media group said: “News Corp is making a full inquiry into the matters you raise.”

    Hayson’s sources of income are of great interest to law enforcement authorities. Despite his parlous financial position, NSW racing sources and figures close to Mr Hayson said he regularly deposits funds or places bets in the gambling accounts of his associates, including prominent NRL and racing identities.

    Former race caller Mark Shean is another to have received cash payments in his TAB account from Mr Hayson. “Eddie text [sic] me for some tips and a few won and he said I will put some money in your tab account I honestly didn’t think anything of it at that time,” he said in a text message to Fairfax Media.

    It is understood Mr Hayson’s payments into the TAB accounts of associates occurred prior to February this year when he was banned from using TAB facilities, having previously been banned for life from Sydney’s Star Casino.

    According to internal TAB documents sent to betting outlets in February, TAB staff were instructed to “no longer serve Edward (Eddie) Hayson … due to suspicious money laundering activity”.

    The document advised staff to contact head office if Mr Hayson “attempts to take part in any TAB transactions in your venue”.

    The NSW organised crime squad is examining betting data in an attempt to confirm unproven allegations, denied by Mr Hayson, that he has used improperly obtained inside information, or engaged in match or race fixing, to increase his betting odds.

    Some of Mr Hayson’s most successful betting plunges were derived from inside information.

    In 2006, Mr Hayson’s friendship with Newcastle Knights star Andrew Johns brought a storm of publicity about Mr Hayson using inside information on Johns’ injury to win an estimated $2 million on a betting plunge that the Newcastle Knights would lose their match against the lowly-placed Warriors.

    Police and gaming authorities are also examining why Mr Hayson frequently uses online and telephone gambling accounts belonging to other people to make payments or bet.

    The practice makes it difficult for authorities to trace the origin of funds and who is behind a particular bet.

    Comment was sought from Mr Hayson.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/news-corp-journalist-phil-buzz-rothfield-received-payments-from-controversial-gambler-eddie-hayson-20160728-gqg0no



  • LOL. The SMH would be loving this. Like a dog with a bone, they won’t let go.



  • I bet with my mates, but they wouldn’t put 2 grand in my account if I tipped them the melbourne cup trifecta.



  • @Tigerdon:

    LOL. The SMH would be loving this. Like a dog with a bone, they won’t let go.

    Isn’t everyone enjoying this? Hope he gets locked up.



  • Haha they’ve set McClymont after him, that’s not going to end well for poor old Booze…



  • Kate McClymont is one of the best investigative journalist in the country, if there is something rotten about Buzz she will find it and nail him.
    Good riddens!!



  • Eddie is able to influence a lot of people based on “security” footage from stilettos.



  • @Harvey:

    Eddie is able to influence a lot of people based on “security” footage from stilettos.

    Rothfield wouldnt have it in him to “do the business”. Brewer’s droop.

    He would just be there for the bar.



  • Ha this is the best thing I’ve read in ages! I can imagine the glee of the Fairfax journalists finding this material on Buzz and putting the article together, then going to Buzz for his frantic and chokey comments.

    Suffer in your jocks Buzz you peanut boozehound.


  • Banned

    hahahahha this is a good way to start my weekend. Bring it on!



  • Maybe Buzz frequents Stiletto’s IN stiletto’s……wouldn’t surprise me.



  • <big>Row over journalist Phil Rothfield’s relationship with punter Eddie Hayson heats up</big>

    The controversy embroiling News Corp sports journalist Phil “Buzz” Rothfield over his relationship with notorious gambler and former brothel owner Eddie Hayson has escalated as the former partner of league star Kieran Foran attacks the journalist.

    “If only you would report the actual ‘truth’ of the situation instead of doing favours for your good mate Eddy [sic] and Kieran,” Rebecca Pope posted on Facebook on Sunday.

    Ms Pope was referring to a front-page story in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper by Rothfield in which he interviewed her troubled former partner Foran about his mental health issues, his relationship breakdown and his reasons for tearing up his $5 million contract with the Parramatta Eels.

    During the interview with Rothfield, which Mr Hayson organised and attended, Foran spoke glowingly of his “loyal friend” Mr Hayson, whom Foran said he had “leaned on” over the past couple of months.

    News Corp is conducting an inquiry into whether Rothfield breached editorial guidelines by writing favourable stories about Mr Hayson, without revealing he had received payments from him.

    Fairfax Media has revealed that Mr Hayson, who has been at the centre of some of rugby league and racing’s biggest betting scandals, has made multiple cash deposits into the TAB account of the veteran journalist.

    Asked how much he had received from Mr Hayson, Rothfield said: “I honestly don’t know how much it is. I’d be stunned if it was more than two or two and a half grand.”

    The most recent payment into Rothfield’s betting account occurred last December and involved a cash deposit of $2000.

    Mr Hayson, who has been banned from both The Star casino and the TAB, claimed the money was reimbursement for NRL tickets he said Rothfield had obtained for him.

    The cash payments made into the betting account of Rothfield, as well as accounts of other Hayson associates, are under investigation by law enforcement authorities.

    While Mr Hayson has provided Rothfield with some great scoops over the years, the pair’s relationship troubled some colleagues.

    A former senior editor told Fairfax Media that he censured Rothfield about his boasts that he visited Stiletto, a brothel in Camperdown that was owned at the time by Mr Hayson.

    The former senior editor said he was “petrified” that word of Rothfield’s boasts might leak. He said he warned his reporter: “Do not ever go there again.”

    Rothfield and Mr Hayson both vehemently denied that the journalist had frequented the brothel or was provided with prostitutes by Mr Hayson.

    Mr Hayson’s friendship with a number of footballers has been of concern to the NRL over the years.

    A decade ago, Mr Hayson received inside information that his friend Andrew Johns would not be playing for the Newcastle Knights that weekend due to injury.

    Mr Hayson’s friendship with a number of footballers has been of concern to NRL over the years. A decade ago, Mr Hayson received inside information that his friend Andrew Johns would not be playing for the Newcastle Knights that weekend due to injury.

    Hayson made use of the information to win an estimated $2 million wagering that the other team would win. An NRL inquiry found no wrongdoing.

    Foran and Mr Hayson have been seen regularly betting together with the most recent sighting of the pair at the Gosford Greyhound meeting a fortnight ago.

    In June the big-time punter angrily denied widespread rumours that he was behind Foran’s widely reported $75,000 gambling spree.

    On May 20, Mr Hayson met Foran, who was in rehab in Brisbane. The previous day Foran’s TAB account registered $75,000 worth of bets in a two-hour period.

    Mr Hayson, who has been the subject of several police and betting inquiries, lost control of his brothel Stiletto in 2014. He declared himself insolvent with debts of $52 million. He currently owes millions of dollars to a raft of characters including drug dealers, footballers, jockeys, boxers, family, friends and a convicted murderer.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/row-over-journalists-relationship-with-punter-heats-up-20160731-gqhs6d.html?campaign_id=A100&campaign_type=Email



  • This wont end well for Foran



  • Can’t wait to see Buzz’s highlights and lowlights of the weekend now… Suffer, you gutter slime!



  • I am taking great joy in this.

    I know he’s better than this, but I would love to see Phillip Ronald Gould get in on the fun and have a stab at him.


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