Port Vale defender, Mitch Clark, has been suspended for three-months and received a £600 fine for a major betting violation.
The League One defender was dealt a huge blow to his 2022-23 season, as an Independent Regulatory Commission confirmed that he’d breached the Football Association’s (FA) betting rules.
Clark admitted placing 312 bets on various football matches while playing for Accrington Stanley between February 2022 and March 2023.
The FA instigated disciplinary proceedings against Clark on 9 May 2023. This was for misconduct under FA rule E1.2. The FA also alleged that each bet placed made up a separate breach of rule E8, regarding betting conduct.
The FA’s rules do not allow players to bet on anything within football and is even stricter on bets made towards the players current side.
While almost all of Clark’s bets involved other teams, however the 24-year-old did, on one occasion, bet on his own team to lose.
The Commission noted that such an action usually resulted in a ban of six months to life. However, in this case, the panel decided to issue a lower penalty because the bet was only made once. In addition, it was part of an accumulator bet and the amount was low.
Furthermore, the hierarchy at the FA decided that as Clark did not play in this game, the bet was not enough to suggest he had influenced the result of the match.
A spokesperson from the commission said: “Overall, in the panel’s opinion, there was no evidence of the defendant showing a particular proclivity or consistent intent to target his team losing in his betting activity, or any indication that he had sought to attempt to influence or bring about a negative result for his team.”
The regulatory body opted to suspend the three-month ban for two years, pending any more violations of the FA’s betting rules.