Newmarket Town defender Joe Robinson hit with 10-month suspension for betting breaches
Newmarket Town have been rocked by the news that influential defender Joe Robinson has been handed a 10-month ban from all football-related activity due to betting breaches.
The former Ipswich Town centre-back, who joined the Jockeys last summer from higher-league King’s Lynn Town, learned his punishment during a personal hearing with the Football Association earlier this week.
The governing body found that a string of bets had been placed on football matches dating back to his Ipswich days in 2016 from an online account belonging to the 23-year-old, who has also played for Boston United, Bishop’s Stortford and Cambridge City.
FA rules currently stipulate that footballers, management and committee members from clubs at Step 4 and above are not permitted to bet on any football, while players from all levels cannot bet on matches in which they are involved.
The offences came to light after a leading bookmaker offered odds online for Step 5 Newmarket’s home pre-season friendly against Soham Town Rangers in July 2019, which prompted an investigation.
A bet on that particular fixture was placed from Robinson’s account, though it was subsequently cashed out before kick off.
Nevertheless, after the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions finally allowed his case to come before the FA’s disciplinary board, Robinson will not be available for selection until April 2021.
For Newmarket boss Michael Shinn, while he accepts that a suspension was inevitable, he has been disappointed by the lack of support his player has received from the powers that be.
“I understand they have to hand out bans, but there has been no help or guidance for Joe throughout all of this,” he said.
“Nobody has contacted him or myself with advice, things to work on, people to contact or things like that to help.
“That has been disappointing and frustrating because it has been hanging over him for the last 12 months – that is a long time.
“It doesn’t sit well at all – there should be a lot more support given in this type of situation. We, as a club, will fully support Joe throughout this time.”
The Journal reported earlier this year how members of the Soham management team and playing squad had also been punished with fines and suspensions after being found guilty of betting offences in the wake of the friendly with Newmarket.
More by this authorLiam Apicella