A new report from The Athletic on Thursday afternoon claims the FA have secretly let off a manager who had been gambling on football.
The manager, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is said to have gambled nearly £1million, with bets on his own sport.
But he was secretly let off by the Football Association at the same time that Brentford striker Ivan Toney is serving an eight-month suspension.
The Athletic stated that the boss had eight betting accounts and admitted to being a gambling addict in evidence presented to a court case in 2022, in which two ex-footballers had been accused of blackmailing him.
Revealed: the FA secretly let off a manager who had been gambling on football.
The manager – who cannot be named because of a court ruling – was spared at the same time Ivan Toney, and others, were being punished.
The FA is refusing to say why … https://t.co/TONRN3u0G0
— Daniel Taylor (@DTathletic) September 14, 2023
While most of those bets had been placed on horse racing, court heard that he broke FA rules by gambling on his own sport, yet avoided punishment, being given a warning as no further action was taken.
This a judgment that the English game’s governing body deliberately kept quiet from the media, so that the unnamed manager can not be challenged about its disciplinary processes.
It’s worth saying that identity can’t be reported due to a court order made when two ex-footballer, Alan Rogers and Steven Jennings, had been due to go on trial last year.
Rogers, who previously played for Nottingham Forest and Leicester, was charged with one count of blackmail and another of perverting the course of justice.
Jennings meanwhile, who was a trainee at Everton and spent much of his playing career at Tranmere, faced the same charges and another alleged offence of blackmail.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges with the case dropped after the manager was clear in a series of legal submissions that he had changed his mind and chose not to go through with the trial.
The court was told that the boss, who gambled as much as £879,000 across a two-year period, and lost £270,000, “excluded himself from mainstream gamblers” in an attempt to change his lifestyle.
One of his court letters detailed his wish to abandon the trial led to a judge being “concerned about his welfare”.
But, the FA hasn’t said if the manager’s state of mind had played a part in the process, which ended with the governing body deciding against issuing the disciplinary charges that would ordinarily be expected.
The manager is no longer with the club where his gambling led to an FA investigation.
The case got complicated with the manager receiving anonymity, and one person with knowledge of the FA processes understood to have been doubtful that the FA would be willing to “grapple with the issue” by punishing him.
It was this time last year that the case collapsed.
The Football Association’s disciplinary unit had access to police evidence, which included phone records, bank accounts and data from the bookies.
The manager put a range of bets on from £5 to £400 at one of his former clubs and gambled on what court heard as a “handful” of football games, though there was no mention is any involved his own club.
The manager is still working in the top four professional divisions in the English game, however has left the club where his gambling led to an FA investigation. His current team were made aware of the court case and the possibility that, as a result of the evidence, their employee would face disciplinary charges.
However, the case was complicated for the FA, bearing in mind Manager A has been granted anonymity via the legal system.
To ban a manager in those circumstances would immediately have risked identifying him, even inadvertently, as the same person who was involved in a court case that had attracted publicity last year.
The Athletic questioned the FA over updates at regular interludes over the last year, but struggled to get an answer, only to then find out that the decision was made a number of months ago.
The FA have a zero-tolerance policy and there are guidelines on its website saying: “Breaching the FA betting rules, or using inside information, is serious stuff. You are likely to get caught and receive an FA charge.”
This report comes in the same week that Nottingham Forest defender Harry Toffolo was in breach of FA’s Rule E8 when he was given a suspended five-month ban for betting 375 times at the beginning of his playing career, relating to a period from 2014 to 2017 while he was at Norwich City and aged 18 to 21, and had several loan spells. The FA says its full written reasons will be revealed soon.
This is what Twitter users said as report claims the FA have secretly let off a manager who had been gambling on football…
@saprobie: Pretty much confirms the FA are bent as fuck, allegedly. It’s ok to throw Ivan Toney and Harry Toffolo under the bus. But not a manager? Why is this different? Why are the @fa trying to hide this?
@EmmaBfc90: Why am I not surprised the FA are forever proving what complete scum they are. Toney should be suing them immediately.
@MaaxiAngelo: Ivan Toney is serving an 8 month ban and has been prohibited from even training with Brentford. At the same time, the same organisation that issued his ban just swept a similar case under the rug. How is that ”being equal in front of the law”? Howler by the FA.
@OllieGlanvill: Utterly predictable. Toney was made an example of for no obvious reason at the height of faux gambling awareness nonsense. Given Toffollo this and no doubt dozens of other cases you’d imagine Toney now has a case for damages…
@PuddinGRK86: If I was Ivan Toney, I’d be straight to my lawyer!!! Typical of English football bosses. Pick and choose who they punish and who they don’t!!
@smithymanyoo: If this doesn’t underline the need for an independent regulator to oversee the FA, PL + EFL then I don’t know what does. Absolute shambles for Toney + Toffolo to waste months of their career whilst a manager has been let off the hook despite committing the same offence
@sufcdan12: Genuinely might as well sack off everyone in the FA and start again because there useless
@seankolo99: Manager let off FREE from gambling but a player, who wears a shirt that sponsors bookies, was suspended for 8 months. The English FA is honestly disgusting time and time again
Everything Toney said here was spot on https://t.co/ClmMUnuJsr pic.twitter.com/JSWvVMNJuG
— ® (@rianmbfc) September 14, 2023