AFC Wimbledon boss departs after FA betting charge

18 October 2019

Wally Downes has stepped down as manager of AFC Wimbledon after he was handed a 28-day ban from all football and football-related activity by the English Football Association (FA) for breaching its betting rules.

Downes was suspended by the English League One club last month after the FA alleged that he placed eight bets on football matches between November 30, 2013 and July 12, 2019.

FA Rule E8 bans all match officials, coaching staff and anyone involved with a club below step four in the English National League System from betting or instructing anyone to bet on the outcome of a game or any other matters related to football.

The FA confirmed in a statement that Downes (pictured coaching at West Ham United in 2011) admitted to placing the bets and he will now serve a ban until 14 November 2019. Downes was also ordered to pay a fine of £3,000 (€3,468/$3,865).

“Downes placed five bets on football matches between 30 November 2013 and 30 January 2014, and three bets between 16 March 2019 and 12 July 2019,” the FA said.

Downes had managed AFC Wimbledon since November 2018. The club said he will step down as manager on mutually agreed terms.

In a statement, AFC Wimbledon said: "AFC Wimbledon has reached an agreement to part company with first-team manager Wally Downes. Wally leaves on mutually agreed terms and with our sincerest gratitude for his time with the club, especially his invaluable contribution last season. The agreement was reached with the approval of the Dons Trust board.

"The club and Dons Trust boards suspended Wally last month when the FA announced it had charged him with alleged betting contraventions, with assistant manager Glyn Hodges placed in temporary control of first-team affairs.

"While Wally’s FA disciplinary process concluded last week, the boards believe that a change of first-team manager is the best option to help the club maintain its recent upturn in performances. Naturally, Wally leaves with our sincerest best wishes for the future and his place in our club’s history - as both a player and manager - assured.

"Under the terms of the agreement reached with Wally, we will be making no further public statement about either his departure or the betting charges."

Last month, the FA also fined Huddersfield Town £50,000 after the Championship club’s Paddy Power sponsorship stunt saw it found in breach of kit and advertising regulations.

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