Mitch Clark Handed Suspension and Fine over Betting Violation

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Two months after the FA suspended Ivan Toney for breaching betting rules, the Association has taken action against another UK player for committing the same offense.

Port Vale defender Mitch Clark has been issued a £600 fine and a suspended three-month suspension for violating Football Association betting rules.

Clark received the penalty from an independent Regulatory Commission after he admitted to placing 312 bets on football games while playing for Accrington Stanley between 08 February 2022 and 10 March 2023. Three of these bets involved Accrington Stanley FC, one of which was a bet against the team.

Clark’s gambling activities directly breached Rule E1 of the FA rules, which restrict footballers and any individual involved in football from betting on the sport.

Reasoning and Verdict

In an official report, the panel stated reasons why it had given the 24-year-old football player a suspended ban. First, they pointed to Clark’s cooperation with the proceedings, his admission of guilt, and his commitment to dealing with his gambling addiction especially opting to receive treatment through the Sporting Chance charity.

The panel also considered that Clark’s club at that period, Accrington Stanley FC, only appeared a few times and in accumulators of lower values. Also, he did not play in the match he had wagered against the club, and there was no suggestion that his ‘conduct’ had any impact on the game.

Additionally, Clark had not made any financial gain from the bets. According to the report, the total bets he placed amounted to £2,215.15 during the relevant period, and he incurred a net loss of £1,622.38 from the bets.

If Clark is found to have committed any new break of the FA’s betting rules within the two-year period, the suspension would be revoked, and the sanction applied as an addition to any penalties imposed for the new violation.

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