FA probe into Football League match betting

The FA has confirmed it will begin an investigation into Accrington Stanley’s 2-0 home defeat to Bury on the weekend after suspiscious betting patterns were reported by two bookmakers.

“Unusually large” wagers were placed on Bury to beat Accrington Stanley (who are they???) prior to the Football League match that were large enough to prompt a change of match officials on the day before the game.

Bookmakers William Hill and Coral both closed their books on the game. After seeing no signs of the money on Bury to win slowing down, despite shortening the odds 4 times, William Hill came to their decision.

"We were seeing substantial money for just one result, Bury to win,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

“We shortened the price four times and we were still seeing people wanting to bet. That was the point at which we decided to close the book. I can't ever recall us taking this action on an English League game."

The FA will now liaise with the bookmakers in their investigation into the match.

"This was a very unusual betting pattern - if the allegations are true. We were made aware of the situation on Friday,” said FA director of communications Adrian Bevington.

"We will look very closely at the information bookmakers provide and take any subsequent action with the Football League and the two clubs concerned."

However, online bookmaker Betfair, which is usually the first bookmaker to notice any dubious betting patterns, saw no signs to warrant ringing alarm bells and believes any potential increase in wagers could have been down to an article on the match in the Racing Post.

"There was a lot of trading, but it was a game that was on everybody's lips after being featured in the Racing Post,” said Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin.

"We have an arrangement where we do supply information to the FA if we feel it is necessary, but I don't see us volunteering information on this match because we are not concerned about it.

“However, if the FA come to us, we will happily assist them."

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2008-05-06 11:03:52

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