Welcome to the News desk.
|'Serious concerns' over match fixing after four players fined and
Disciplinary officials have expressed "serious
concerns" that a Football League match may have been fixed after four players
were banned for between five months and a year for betting on the outcome.
The four players have been
suspended and fined after betting on the outcome of the League Two match
between Accrington and Bury on 3 May 2008 three of the players were with
Stanley at the time and the other at Bury, who won the game 2-0.
Harris has been banned for a year and fined a total of £5,500 by an
independent FA regulatory commission, David Mannix has been given a 10-month
ban and fined £4,000, and Robert Williams suspended for eight months and
fined £3,500. Andrew Mangan, who was then a Bury player, has been banned
for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on his team to win.
Nicholas Stewart QC, chairman of the
regulatory commission, said in a statement: "The regulatory commission have
serious concerns that the outcome of the match may have been fixed although
none of the players were charged with these offences."
follows a 10-month investigation. The FA's rules on betting prohibit players
from staking money on any match or competition in which they are participating
or on which they have "direct or indirect influence".
The case against
Accrington skipper Peter Cavanagh, who was also charged, will be heard at a
later date. Both he and Harris played in the match.
The four Accrington
players were charged with betting thousands of pounds on their team to lose:
Mannix was alleged by the FA to have bet approximately £4,000; Harris
£2,000; Williams £1,000; and Cavanagh on a £5 accumulator.
Mangan was charged with staking £3,500 on his side to win, while
Harris' total fine includes £500 for betting on at least one other match
after he had moved to Chester City.
The regulatory commission chairman
added: "The suspensions and fines are imposed because the FA rules restricting
betting by players (and others) on matches or competitions in which they are
involved are vital to ensure public confidence in the integrity of football and
the absolute straightness of all football matches.
"These players were
all in blatant breach of the rules. Three of the players, (Mannix, Harris and
Williams) were Accrington players at the time and actually bet on the opposing
team, Bury, to win. Actions which would shock any fair minded football fan. Mr
Harris even played for Accrington in that match.
"Mr Mangan did at
least bet on his own club to win but was nevertheless in serious breach of this
"The betting offence committed against Mr Harris when
he was a Chester City player merits a less severe penalty but was a clear
breach of The FA rule E8(a) committed after he had already been interviewed and
advised of likely charges in relation to the Accrington v Bury matter under the
The FA were alerted after bookmakers in the north-west
reported unusual betting patterns in the lead-up to the match with unusually
high amounts being staked in particular areas of the country.
lengthy investigation uncovered enough evidence to bring the charges but FA
sources believed they only scratched the surface in terms of the amount of
money actually bet.
One bookmaker, Betfair, took £281,000 on
Accrington Stanley to lose some 14 times more than they would normally
expect. William Hill suspended betting when large stakes were still being
wagered even when the odds had been cut to 10/11 on a Bury win.
matches at a similar level on the same weekend saw a total of around
£20,000 being staked. The FA changed the referee and assistants at the
last minute to ensure no shadow of suspicion would affect them.
Cavanagh and Mannix are former Liverpool trainees, while Harris was a
trainee at Everton. Cavanagh and Williams were still registered with Accrington
last season while Mannix was at Chester. Mangan moved from Bury to Blue Square
Premier side Forest Green.