THE MATCH-FIXING allegations that centred on the Blue Square Premier match between Grays Athletic and Forest Green Rovers back in April 2009, continue to be name-checked by the national newspapers.
The authorities investigated suspicious betting patterns after bookmakers suspended betting the day before the match, having noticed unsusual patterns of bets. William Hill and Blue Square, which sponsors the league, said they had received a large number of wagers on Grays to win after trailing at half-time at odds of 22-1. Grays won the match 2-1, after being 1-0 behind at the break.
Grays Athletic have always strenously denied any involvement. Indeed, the Grays Athletic of 2010 is under totally new management, in a different league and playing in a different ground.
In a Daily Mail article published yesterday (Dec 25th) reporter Nick Harris states that, “The FA remain theoretically on that case”.
The article’s main focus is “that a gambler with close social ties to Premier League and England footballers is among those under investigation for involvement in an alleged ‘spot-fixing’ betting sting.
The Gambling Commission and the Scottish FA have been passed details of multiple ‘irregular’ bets and attempted bets, many of them allegedly emanating from Merseyside, on a red card being shown during the game between Motherwell and Hearts in the Scottish Premier League earlier this month.
“The investigation has been described to me by some involved in the ‘integrity process’ as ‘a test of how seriously the Commission and sporting bodies want to take these issues’.
But the article and several others continue to turn their attention to the unsolved matter of the Grays Ath game.
The Gambling Commission reported that there was insufficient evidence to proceed over the Grays v Forest Green game.
But one betting source told The Independent in August that: “Of course the Grays game was fixed, but the Gambling Commission lack the skill to prosecute. And the police aren’t particularly interested in taking the cases on because they often relate to small events and are relatively small amounts of cash.
The Daily Mail reported yesterday:” Enforcement sources claim the Grays game was passed over by police because they were too busy with crime and terrorism.”
At the time, Essex Police told YourThurrock: “They had not received a complaint nor were investigating a complaint in relation to the Grays v Forest Green game of April 26th 2009.”
Whatever the case it appears that the strange case of the “dead rubber” back in April 2009 seems destined to bounce back.
BURIED deep within an article written on match fixing by the Independent’s crime correspondent Mark Hughes and published
The GC’s lack of action over one particular event is the source of great consternation in bookmaking circles. A Forest Green Rovers vs Grays Athletic tie saw about £50,000 gambled on Grays being behind at half-time but winning at full time – a bet which offered odds of 22-1.
When this happened, the incident was reported to the GC but the investigation was dropped and Grays denied knowledge of any corruption. But one betting source told The Independent: “Of course the Grays game was fixed, but the Gambling Commission lack the skill to prosecute. And the police aren’t particularly interested in taking the cases on because they often relate to small events and are relatively small amounts of cash.”