Former England and Manchester United star Paul Scholes has been fined by the Football Association (FA) for breaching football’s rules on gambling.
The FA gave Scholes an £8,000 fine for the offence and also warned him about his future conduct, following an investigation into best placed by the former player over a four-year period.
The investigation, concerning 140 bets, placed by Scholes between August 2015 and January 2019, concerned a potential breach of FA Rule E8. This rule prevents anyone registered as an FA athlete, club manager, steward, official or representative from making any bets on any football match.
During the time that the bets were placed, Scholes was on the FA register as a club official, as he was the co-owner of Salford FC, along with his former team-mates Nicky Butt, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs, and the FA ruled that he had therefore been in breach of their rules.
According to media reports, Scholes placed football bets worth a total of £26,000 and earned an overall profit of £6,000. In its conclusion, the FA made it clear that they had discovered no evidence that Scholes was involved in influencing any of the games that he bet on during this period.
Reacting to the FA verdict, and the fine, Scholes issued a statement saying that he fully accepted the findings and that the bets were not made with any intent to breach the rules:
I wrongly believed that as long as there was no personal connection between me and any of the matches that I bet upon, then there would be no issue.”
Scholes is the latest football figure to fall foul of the FA rules on betting, which were tightened in 2014. Joey Barton, Barry Fry, Martin Demichelis, Cameron Jerome and Andros Townsend have all received punishments for breaking the rules.