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By ESPN Staff

FA to probe betting allegations against managers

Football's reputation is under the spotlight again after another series of potentially-damaging allegations - this time involving claims that several top-flight managers have laid huge bets on Premiership matches.

The Football Association have announced they are to investigate the allegations which have been made by a disgruntled former employee of offshore bookmakers Victor Chandler.

It is understood the ex-bookie has also made claims about the betting habits of a number of players.

The latest controversy follows BBC Panorama's accusations of bungs involving managers and agents, and comes with Lord Stevens preparing to deliver his findings next month from his inquiry into alleged illegal payments in the Premier League.

A High Court injunction was granted last night, after an application by Chandler's lawyers, prohibiting the identification of the managers, and some players, named by the former employee.

FA rules explicitly forbid managers and players betting on competitions they are involved in.

An FA spokesman said: 'We will investigate these reports to see if there has been any breach of our regulations and we would welcome any information that would help our inquiries.'

A senior FA figure admitted the timing of the latest allegations was unwelcome but said the game needed to deal with such problems.

He said: 'Things are coming out which have not come out before - whether it is the Stevens inquiry, Panorama or these latest claims - and that is good in a way because it shows we are determined to investigate any wrongdoing connected to the game.'

PR guru Max Clifford has been working on behalf of Gibraltar-based Chandler.

Clifford said: 'I am representing Victor Chandler as I have done for a number of years and he wants to maintain his clients' right to privacy.

'We were at the High Court yesterday making sure no-one could reveal their names.'

It has been reported that four Premiership managers are involved and one of them made bets totalling £12million in one year alone, losing £415,000.