ACCRINGTON Stanley has been plunged into a match-betting scandal, with their captain and three players accused of gambling thousands of pounds on the team to lose.
After a year-long probe into irregular betting patterns before the fateful match against Bury on 3 May 2008, the Football Association has charged Reds stalwarts Peter Cavanagh and Robbie Williams, and former Stanley players Jay Harris and David Mannix. Another ex-Red Andy Mangan, playing for Bury at the time, has also been implicated.
Mannix is alleged to have bet around £4,000, Mangan £3,000, Harris £2,000, Williams £1,000 and Cavanagh a £5 accumulator before the game, which Bury won 2-0.
The players all have until 23 April to respond.
Betting on the result or progress of any match in which the participant has any direct or indirect influence is banned.
An FA spokesperson said: "A Regulatory Commission would hear the case and have all options open to them in terms of potential sanctions, ranging from warnings to fines and suspensions. There is no real precedent for this kind of case."
Chairman Eric Whalley said it was "disgusting" that players might have bet against the club that employs them and is seeking legal advice.
He added: "We don’t want players playing for us who will bet against us winning. We can’t afford to lose fans, they are our bread and butter."
Skipper Cavanagh, 27, has also been charged with betting on another Stanley match in which he played and other League Two matches.
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