Four players banned after placing bets on 'fixed' match

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Disciplinary chiefs have expressed "serious concerns" that a Football League match may have been fixed after four players were banned for between five months and a year for betting on the outcome.

The players have been suspended and fined after betting on the League Two match between Accrington and Bury on 3 May 2008 – three of the players were with Stanley and the other at Bury, who won the game 2-0.

Jay Harris has been banned for a year and fined a total of £5,500 by an independent Football Association regulatory commission, David Mannix has been given a 10-month ban and fined £4,000, and Robert Williams has been suspended for eight months and fined £3,500. Andrew Mangan, who was then a Bury player, has been banned for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on his team to win.

Nicholas Stewart QC, chairman of the regulatory commission, said in a statement: "[We] have serious concerns that the outcome of the match may have been fixed, although none of the players were charged with these offences." The case against the Accrington captain, Peter Cavanagh, will be heard at a later date. Both he and Harris played in the match.

The four Accrington players were charged with betting thousands of pounds on their team to lose. Mangan was charged with staking £3,500 on his side to win, while Harris's total fine includes £500 for betting on at least one other match after he had moved to Chester City.

The FA was alerted after bookmakers in the North-west reported unusually high amounts being staked in particular areas of the country.