A York City player has received a one-month ban after being found guilty by the Football Association of illegal betting.
Joshua King, who signed for City in August 2019, placed 139 bets over two seasons on football matches. It is against the rules for a professional footballer to bet on his own sport.
In the 2019/20 season, he placed 45 bets – three of them related to a football match or competition in which York City FC were participating. He staked £170.41 and made £24.02 profit.
In the 2020/21 season, he placed 94 illegal bets, 13 of which related to a match or competition in which City were taking part.
The defender staked £872.52 and made a £475.23 loss.
Most seriously, two of the bets were on games that involved York City directly, including on one match in which King was an unused substitute “and thereby a potential direct participant”. In the other game he wasn’t in the squad.
In these games he bet £7 – and lost £7.
King told an FA disciplinary hearing he had given friends access to his Sky Bet account, and that most of the bets were placed by them.
But during its investigation, officials discovered “that almost invariably JK’s own mobile phone service provider internet or his own home wi-fi was used to place the bets online”.
The tribunal also noted that many of the bets were placed “during the national lockdown… when the general population would necessarily need to remain at home for long periods of the day”.
King “asserted that his friends and associates would attend near his home in order to
provide instructions to him in order to place bets using JK’s own betting account”.
But the FA found this was not a credible explanation, when his friends could easily use their own betting accounts.
They found he was responsible for the “vast majority” of the bets, and that he placed all the bets relating to York City.
He was fined £750 and banned for one month.
More FA probes
It follows City player Michael Woods being fined £250 by the FA in July after placing 71 bets.
At the time of the offences, he was furloughed from either Dover Athletic or York City, and had taken a job as a delivery driver – and “was thinking of myself as a former footballer, current van driver,” he told the hearing.
Assistant manager Micky Cummins is also awaiting an outcome after being charged by the FA on betting misconduct.
In a statement, York City said today: “The club has clear policies in place regarding betting and continue to provide education via the FA for all club employees.
“We are very disappointed by the situation. However, we will continue to support those affected throughout the process.”
Updated: We have taken down the pictures of Josh King and Michael Woods originally posted on this story after York City FC told us we were not allowed to use them on copyright grounds