Halesowen manager charged by FA

The manager of Halesowen Town has been charged by the Football Association after allegedly becoming embroiled in a betting scam.

Halesowen manager charged by FA

The manager of Halesowen Town has been charged by the Football Association after allegedly becoming embroiled in a betting scam.

Boss Matt Clarke and player Scott Rickards have both been charged in connection to their time at Redditch United in 2008.

In another blow, the FA has announced the Southern League Premier Division club will not be allowed to take part in this season's FA Cup competition.

A takeover deal has still not been ratified leaving the club in limbo as the new season approaches.

Clarke and Rickards, together with former Redditch United footballer Howard Forinton, allegedly breached betting regulations by placing bets on a match between Redditch United and Stalybridge Celtic in the 2007/08 season.

FA spokesman Matt Phillips today said all had admitted placing bets on games. Clarke has been charged with 25 counts of breaking FA rules, while Rickards has been charged with two counts.

Phillips said: "Clarke has also admitted placing bets on games in which he was involved in the same season, namely Redditch United versus Barrow and Redditch United versus Kettering Town, and on matches in the same division in the 2008/09 season."

Clarke and Rickards will be sanctioned in the next few days.

Clarke said today: "The only thing I would say is it was a long time ago."

The news comes as a blow to supporters still waiting to learn if millionaire brothers Godfrey and Graham Ingram have been successful in their bid to buy the club.

The FA has yet to ratify the deal and the club will miss out on this year's FA Cup competition, bosses confirmed today.

But the Yeltz fans are backing boss Clarke.

Chairman of supporters group The Yeltz Trust, Gary Willetts, said: "We have got the greatest respect for Matt for what he has been doing during his time here.

"These were incidents when he was not at Halesowen Town and we will just wait to see what happens at the FA hearing."

It comes after a string of controversies at the Grove.

Former club owner Morell Maison's high profile reign was ended after the club went into administration last year.

It was barred from last season's FA Cup and FA Trophy because of its financial difficulties.

Ex-chief executive Guy Simpson was also recently jailed for his part in a multi-million pound counterfeit cigarette racket.

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