FA bans quartet
The FA has banned and fined four footballers for between five months and a year for betting on a match.
Last Updated: 22/07/09 3:02pm
The Football Association has banned and fined four professional footballers for between five months and a year for betting on Accrington Stanley's match against Bury in May 2008.
James Harris, David Mannix and Robert Williams, all then Accrington players, and former Bury forward Andrew Mangan have all been found guilty by an FA regulatory commission.
The quartet have been suspended and fined after betting on the outcome of the League Two match between Accrington and Bury, who won the game 2-0, on 3rd May 2008.
Harris has been banned for one year and fined £5,000 by the commission as a result of his offences.
Mannix has received a 10-month ban and a fine of £4,000, while Williams has been given an eight-month suspension and a monetary punishment of £3,500.
Mangan has been banned for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on Bury 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.
"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.
Breach of rules
"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 important rule."
Harris' total fine includes an additional £500 for betting on at least one other match after he had moved to Chester City.
Accrington chief executive Rob Heys has applauded the FA for the stance it has taken but is upset that his club have been reflected in a bad light as a result of the case.
"It's disappointing because it's not good for the name of Accrington Stanley," he told Sky Sports News.
"We pride ourselves on being a family club, a very friendly club, very approachable and things like this paint the club in a bad light.
"We would applaud the fact that the FA has come down so heavily on the people that have been found guilty of the actions and I think that can only be a good thing in terms of the future."
Accrington have endured a tough summer financially and recently had to fend off a winding-up order, and Heys believes that the saga has taken its toll on the club.
"I think people sometimes forget that Accrington Stanley are the victims in all this," he added.
"We lost our main sponsors because they went out of business last year and we struggled very hard to find someone to come in and replace them while this has been hanging over us.
"But the players are no longer with us and hopefully we can now move on and have a more successful 2009/10 season.
"It's frustrating that we are painted in a bad light because at the end of the day the football club, the supporters and the people who follow Accrington Stanley, we are the ones that are suffering out of this through no fault of our own."