Football Association in Irregular-Betting-Pattern Probe

5 May 2008

The English Football Association is investigating a reportedly suspicious fixture featuring Accrington Stanley F.C. and Bury F.C., members of Coca-Cola Football League Two.

According to the Guardian, suspicion on the match, played Friday, arose after several bookmakers, including Gala Coral Group Ltd. and William Hill, stopped taking bets after reportedly receiving a rash of wagers favoring Bury to win.

In addition, Betfair, which has memoranda of understanding with several sports leagues, reported unusually high volumes of betting on the match.

Adrian Bevington, a spokesperson for the association, said it would be speaking to the bookmakers involved.

"This was a very unusual betting pattern," Mr. Bevington told the Guardian.

"If the allegations are true . . . we will look very closely at the information Betfair and other bookmakers provide and take any subsequent action with the Football League and the two clubs concerned," he said.

Accrington beat Bury 2-0 in the season-ending match, and Rob Heys, Accrington's chief executive, has vowed to "cooperate fully" with the investigation.

"We will speak to the relevant bodies at the FA and we will cooperate fully with any investigation, should one take place," Mr. Heys told the paper. "If there is any evidence of any wrongdoing, the people involved will be severely dealt with."

Meanwhile, Bury told The Times it will seek legal advice before offering comment.

Mark Davies, communications director of Betfair, was not immediately available for comment.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.