English FA fines Scholes £8,000 for breaching betting rules
The English Football Association (FA) has fined former England and Manchester United footballer Paul Scholes £8,000 (€8,995/$10,079) after it found he had breached its prohibition on betting on the sport.
Scholes was alleged to have placed a total of 140 bets on games between August 17, 2015 and January 12, 2019. He wagered a total of £26,159, making a net profit of £5,831.
FA rules strictly prohibit anyone involved with a football club in England from placing bets on football matches around the world.
Scholes was a director of Salford City FC when all bets were placed, but he did not become manager of Oldham Athletic until after this period. Scholes spent 31 days as manager of the League One side from February 11 to March 14.
In January of this year, Paddy Power Betfair alerted to the FA that Scholes had potentially broken its rules on betting and shared his account details with the national governing body. Bet365 also shared information on Scholes’ account.
Although the FA investigation found that Scholes had not placed bets on matches involving Salford City, there was concern over some of the games.
Eight bets involved Manchester United, where Scholes spent the majority of his playing career and during a period when former teammates Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt were working at the club.
Scholes also placed a bet on Spanish LaLiga team Valencia, which, at the time, employed Salford City associates and friends Gary and Philip Neville. He also wagered on FA Cup matches after Salford City had been eliminated from the competition.
Scholes said he had not been aware of the specific rules on betting, saying that he thought he was not permitted to bet on games involving Salford City. He also said the he did not have any special knowledge of the clubs he was betting on.
Although the FA agreed Scholes was not in a position to influence the outcome of any of these matches, the activity constituted a breach of its betting rules.
In its assessment, the FA also noted that although Salford City had been knocked out of the FA Cup when Scholes placed bets, this “does not remove the possibility or perception that some advantage may have been gained by its presence within it”.
Scholes has now been ordered to pay the £8,000, in addition to a contribution of £1,800 towards a personal hearing on the case that Scholes had requested. The FA also warned Scholes about his future conduct.
Scholes will have the option to appeal against the decision.
Image: Biser Todorov