Heys banned by FA

Accrington MD Robert Heys has been hit by a hefty FA suspension after breaching betting regulations.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 19:00 Post Comment

Stanley's MD has been suspended by the FA

Stanley's MD has been suspended by the FA

Accrington managing director Robert Heys has been suspended from all football activity for 21 months by the Football Association after breaching their betting regulations.

The governing body charged Heys at the start of the month and he admitted to 735 breaches of their betting rules at a hearing last Thursday.

Stanley's managing director, who was also fined £1,000, intends to appeal the punishment.

Heys, who has been with Stanley for over 10 years, posted a lengthy statement on his website in which he shed light on the charges which had been brought against him.

He revealed he had made over 200 bets on games involving his own club, including 37 matches in which he had backed Accrington to lose.

He said: "Last Thursday I attended a Regulatory Commission at the FA where I made a full and frank admission to 735 breaches of the FA betting rules , spanning a period of 10 years. These bets were made via a number of online betting accounts which I had at that time - all of which are now closed.

"Of the 735 bets that brought the charges, 231 were on games involving Accrington Stanley. These were small stake bets and many were part of an accumulator bet where there was also a reliance on other clubs to win as well - clubs that had no connection to Accrington Stanley.

"Of those 231 bets, 137 were placed on Accrington Stanley to win, 37 to lose, and 57 other types of bet which were predominantly that there would be a total of more than two goals in a particular game, scored jointly by both teams."

Heys' statement continued: "Anyone who knows me personally will know that I only ever want a win for my team. This has always been the case and on occasions when I have very occasionally bet against my club over the last 10 years I would always have been very happy to lose the stake and take the result."

Heys also announced his intention to appeal, adding: "I accept that I broke the rules and that I must receive a punishment. However, on consideration and following consultation with my representatives, we do feel that a suspension period of 21 months is severe and inappropriately harsh.

"I fully intend to appeal against the excessiveness of the penalty in an effort to get it reduced so that I may work towards resuming my career within the football industry."Stanley chairman Peter Marsden later revealed Heys has been suspended by the club until after his appeal is heard, adding that he has stepped down as a director.

He said in a statement: "Accrington Stanley Football Club recognise the important and valued work Rob Heys has carried out for us over many years, often in trying circumstances, but are also extremely mindful of how grave an offence breaches of the FA and Football League betting rules are.

"Rob has been suspended from working for the club pending the outcome of his appeal to the FA. This appeal is thought to be taking place in about four weeks' time. He has already resigned as a director of the club.

"I have today asked the FA for all the background papers and documents relating to the case so that they can be examined by the board of directors.

"In the meantime we have a football club to run and an interim steering team has already been in place for the last two weeks and this team will continue in place for the immediate future.

"I appreciate the length of Rob's ban from working in football may have divided our fans but ask that everyone come together for the sake of James Beattie and the squad. I know that Rob would wish the same too.

"At other football clubs all too often off-the-field events have adversely affected what has happened on the pitch and I absolutely refuse to let this happen at Stanley.

"Our strength over the years has been everyone pulling together and this is as true now as it has ever been."

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