Motherwell support player over suspicious red-card

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Motherwell have fully backed Steve Jennings amid an investigation by bookmakers into the red card he received during Tuesday night's defeat by Hearts.

The Association of British Bookmakers acted after some of their members became suspicious about betting activity surrounding the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash.

It is understood several bets were placed on a red card being handed out during Motherwell's 2-1 loss, including one of £500 from a new account in Liverpool.

Jennings has been told not to speak publicly by his employers but he is understood to have categorically denied any wrongdoing.

The 26-year-old was shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute by referee Stevie O'Reilly after complaining about a rejected penalty claim.

O'Reilly turned around angrily after Jennings touched him on the shoulder, but the referee's report stated that the red card was for his comments.

Jennings, who was booked in the early stages for a foul on Kevin Kyle, is understood to have asked the referee: 'When are you going to stop cheating us?'

The former Tranmere midfielder did not speak to the media when he arrived at training this morning.

But caretaker manager Gordon Young dismissed any suggestions of impropriety on his player's part.

Young told Press Association Sport: "I believe it will be unfounded. The first and foremost thing is for the player to be exonerated because it has no bearing on the individual. Everyone at the club is 100% behind him."

Motherwell have made no official comment other than to confirm they had been informed by the Scottish Premier League that an investigation was under way.

But chairman John Boyle also stood by Jennings when he was told of the probe last night.

He told the Scottish Daily Mail: "I'd be amazed if Steve got himself involved in anything like that.

"I was in the dressing room after the match and the player was totally distraught.

"If that wasn't genuine emotion from him he is a better actor than Laurence Olivier. I think this whole thing is mischief-making.

"I'd be astonished by any allegations or implications."

The Scottish Football Association confirmed they were working with the SPL in looking into the matter following the information from the ABB.

Comments