Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice opened up over his struggles with a gambling addiction on Monday after reporting himself for a breach of Scottish football’s gambling rules.
Rice, 56, has been served with a notice of complaint from the Scottish Football Association but has been backed by the club for his bravery in going public with the issue.
“I wrote a letter to the Scottish FA self-reporting my gambling and did so as an admission that my disease has returned,” Rice said in a statement on the Hamilton website.
“I have apologised to those at the club in whom I have sought counsel and I apologise today to the players, fans and colleagues I have let down through my gambling addiction.
“The reason I am speaking out is to remove the stigma attached to this horrible, isolating disease, in the hope that those involved in Scottish football who are similarly in its grasp feel they can seek help and draw strength from my admission.”
The Scottish Premiership and both major cup competitions in Scottish football are sponsored by bookmakers.
Hamilton’s CEO Colin McGowan called for amnesty for players and coaches to be able to admit to bets they have placed without fear of facing suspensions and fines and be able to seek help if needed.
“Brian’s courage today can be a seminal moment for Scottish football,” said McGowan.
“We support our head coach and we feel certain that the community will get fully behind him.
“We also believe Brian’s public admission today can be hugely significant in helping the lives of other coaches and players who can relate to his addiction and other addictions.”
Rice has been in charge of Hamilton for just under a year. The Accies are second bottom of the Scottish Premiership.