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Five players lose appeals over betting sanctions

Five players have lost their appeals against sanctions imposed for betting on football matches.

Appeals were brought by Peter Cavanagh, James Harris, David Mannix, Robert Williams and Andrew Mangan. The players, with the exception of Harris, appealed against the finding of guilt by a regulatory commission in July and all five players appealed against the sanctions awarded by the Commission.

All appeals were dismissed except with regard to the matter of costs. Three of the players bet thousands of pounds that their side, Accrington Stanley, would lose the home League Two fixture against Bury in May 2008 - which they did 2-0.

Harris was banned for a year and fined a total of £5,500, Mannix given a 10-month ban and fined £4,000 and Williams suspended for eight months and fined £3,500.

Mangan, who was then a Bury player, was banned for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on his team to win.

Cavanagh was suspended from football for eight months and fined £3,500. The costs were reduced from £5,000 to £1,000 in each case apart from Cavanagh's. His costs included the obtaining of expert evidence so were reduced from £9,626.45 to £2,000.

Appeal board chairman Paul Gilroy QC said: ''In this matter the regulatory commission made findings of guilt against all five above-named players in relation to charges of betting, in varying degrees, on the outcome of football matches. The matches in question either involved their own team or teams playing in their own division.

''All bar one of the players appealed against the regulatory commission's findings in relation to guilt. Each of the players appealed against the findings in relation to sanction and costs.

''The appeal board was unanimous in dismissing all appeals against findings of guilt and sanction.

''Whilst there were points of factual distinction as between the five players concerned, all five were rightly convicted of serious breaches of FA rules and the appeal board could see no merit in disturbing the regulatory commission's findings as to sanction.

''The appeal board was nevertheless satisfied that as a result of those findings, in addition to the orders made by the commission in relation to costs, each of the five players faced a cumulative financial penalty which was, in all the circumstances, disproportionate.

''Accordingly, the appeal board concluded that it would be appropriate to temper that financial impact by reducing the costs orders imposed by the Regulatory Commission in each case from £5,000 to £1,000, and in the case of Peter Cavanagh, from £9,626.45 to £2,000.

''The different order in the latter case is explained by reference to the costs incurred in that case by reason of the obtaining of expert evidence.''


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