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Betting ban is wake up call for Non-League managers and players

Football Association

Great Wakering Rovers boss Steve Butterworth has been suspended from all football and football-related activity for four months for breaching FA betting rules.

Butterworth has become the latest Non-League participant to be caught out after placing 1,541 bets on football matches between August 3, 2014 to May 29, 2019.

The FA’s stance on betting is: “This simple and straightforward message when it comes to football is that ‘all bets are off’. This extends to bets on any match or competition, events within a match, manager markets or players transfers. Also included are novelty bets connected to a game or events in the technical area.

“The worldwide ban applies to participants involved with clubs in the Premier League, the EFL, the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship, as well as Steps 1 to 7 of the National League System.”

Participants can be suspended for up to six months for a bet placed on their own team to win or up to 12 months for a bet placed on a particular occurrence (a spot bet), not involving the player who bet.

Appeal

Over six months and potentially a life ban can be imposed for a bet placed on their own team to lose or spot bet involving the player who bet.

As reported in The Non-League Paper on Sunday, Butterworth was appointed as Wakering’s interim player-manager in January last year and was given the job on a permanent basis before the end of the season.

He has guided the club to be into play-off contention this term but is now set to miss the rest of the campaign after being suspended from the game for four months and fined £150 for being in breach of FA Rule E8.

Great Wakering say they will not comment until the appeal process has ended.

Last month, the management team and three players at Soham Town Rangers were found guilty of breaking betting rules and another one of their players, Ryan Auger, has admitted a charge.

Stocksbridge Park Steels manager Kurtis Turner, Sherwood Colliery  chairman Gareth Bull, Frickley Athletic defender Todd Jordan and four Spennymoor Town players; Adam Boyes, Glen Taylor, Stephen Brogan and Ryan Hall have all admitted breaches and are awaiting paper hearings.

Education

Spennymoor said: “The FA are carrying out a campaign to better educate footballers of all levels on its rules around conduct, betting and other areas. Neither Spennymoor Town nor its players are being specifically targeted and there are a large number of individuals from the top seven tiers of English football on the FA charges list for January.

“The charges in question are relating to time periods as wide as nine years, including periods before the players played for Spennymoor Town.

“Since being made aware, the club has completed a programme of education for all of its staff, volunteers and players with the support of the FA.

“These players had not received this level of engagement on these subjects at other clubs and are now educated on their responsibilities as part-time footballers.”

Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on a Sunday for the latest news and action from across Non-League over the last seven days.

As well as exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s fixtures in the Vanarama National League, the BetVictor-Sponsored Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League, The Non-League Paper’s live coverage extends all the way to Steps 5 and 6.

This article was brought to you by The Non-League Paper, the UK's best-selling football title on the newsstand, on-sale every Sunday.
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