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Football manager escapes FA disciplinary action despite gambling almost £1 million

A football manager has escaped disciplinary action by the Football Association (FA) despite admitting to gambling nearly £1 million, including bets on his own sport. 

This revelation comes at a time when Brentford striker Ivan Toney is serving an eight-month suspension for multiple betting breaches.

The manager, identified only as ‘Manager A’ by The Athletic, reportedly confessed to having eight betting accounts.

He acknowledged his gambling addiction during a court case last year in which two former footballers, Alan Rogers and Steven Jennings, were accused of blackmailing him. 

While most of Manager A’s bets were placed on horse racing, he also violated FA rules by betting on football matches, including some involving his own team.

The FA has surprisingly decided not to take any formal action against Manager A, opting to issue a warning. 

English football’s governing body has kept this judgment away from the media, raising questions about transparency in its disciplinary processes.

Manager A’s identity remains protected by a court order stemming from the case involving Rogers and Jennings, which collapsed a year ago. 

The FA had access to police evidence, including phone records, bank accounts and bookmakers’ data during the investigation.

By contrast, the FA has previously fined and banned footballers for a single bet. 

Jack Colback, while at Newcastle United, was fined £25,000 for one bet on a Champions League match, and Kyle Lafferty received a £23,000 fine for betting on two Spanish games during his time with Norwich City.

However, Ivan Toney received an eight-month suspension for 232 betting breaches over four years, including 13 bets on his own team to lose.

Nottingham Forest defender Harry Toffolo recently received a suspended five-month ban for betting 375 times at the start of his career. Details of Toffolo’s case are expected to be disclosed soon by the FA.

Manager A continues to work in English football’s top four professional divisions but has left the club where his gambling activities triggered the FA investigation. 

Despite concerns about his actions, the FA faced complexities in handling the case due to his anonymity granted by the legal system.

The FA’s lack of transparency on this matter has raised questions about its consistency in enforcing disciplinary actions. 

The FA has previously emphasised a zero-tolerance policy on betting breaches, which has left many people within the sport puzzled by the handling of Manager A’s case, especially in light of widespread sponsorship deals with bookmakers in football.

The secrecy surrounding Manager A’s case has sparked allegations of preferential treatment and leniency within the FA, leaving the football community eager for answers and accountability.

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