Soham Town Rangers players and management punished for placing football bets while one Newmarket Town player is investigated
Two Soham Town Rangers players have received FA suspensions for incidents of misconduct in relation to betting, while three other squad members – including player-manager Robbie Mason – have been handed fines for similar offences.
Matty Allan has been dealt the biggest punishment, with the attacker banned from any football related activity for six months.
Allan – formerly of Godmanchester Rovers and Histon – admitted to being in breach of FA Rule E8 in respect of 254 bets placed on football matches between January 27, 2017 to November 3 2019.
Meanwhile, team-mate Callum Russell, who placed 1,593 bets on football matches between August 27, 2015 to October 28, 2019, has been banned from all football related activity for two months, one of which is suspended for two years.
Mason (August 9, 2014 to December, 22 2018) and his assistant Erkan Okay (August, 10 2014 to August 12, 2017) both received fines of £300 for their previous betting activity, with forward Marcus Hall fined £4,400 in respect of 6,314 bets placed on football matches between August 1, 2014 to September 10, 2019.
FA rules currently stipulate that footballers, management and committee members from clubs at Step 4 – of which Soham are as members of the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division – and above are not permitted to bet on football at any level.
Soham, who have been exonerated of any wrong doing by the FA, said in a statement: "Since last summer, the committee and players of Soham Town Rangers Football Club have been supporting FA investigations into football betting. From the start, our club has been proven to have acted in good faith, including an FA discussion evening pre-season for all players.
"As a result of the investigations, some individual players have been found guilty of breaching the FA rules and have been punished accordingly. Soham Town Rangers fully acknowledge the punishments and support the FA in all matters.
"Our club will continue to co-operate with the FA in any way requested. As this is a continuing investigation, we will make no further comment at this time.
"We will leave the FA to publish what they wish with nothing coming from our club regarding any player. If you would like to speak to our club on this matter, please contact vice-chairman Mark Goldsack on 07831 168899."
These particular offences have come to light after a leading bookmaker offered odds online for Soham's pre-season friendly away at Newmarket Town last summer, which was followed by subsequent scrutiny from the game's governing body.
And it is also the Journal's understanding that one Newmarket player is currently under FA investigation for alleged betting offences, with a verdict on that particular case expected to be reached in due course.