The FA’s betting probe into an Arsenal Premier League match earlier this season centres on an extraordinary £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked towards the end of the game.
Sportsmail has the identity of the Arsenal player, but he cannot be identified for legal reasons. The large sum involved led bookmakers to inform the FA about the betting. This sum is far more than what is normally wagered on yellow card games.
The FA’s intelligence and integrity analysts are leading inquiries with Betradar, a sports data company which specialises in identifying unusual bets and the potential for spot-fixing and match-fixing.
The FA’s betting probe into an Arsenal Premier League match earlier this season centres on an £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked towards the end of the game
While the investigation is not yet underway, the authorities are most likely to contact Arsenal and its players to discuss it.
Sportsmail received information from an industry expert, who had examined trading patterns in the match. This indicated that the betting did not involve corruption as the majority of betting involved two punters playing on the same gambling platform.
‘The trading in the 10 minutes prior to that yellow is nothing like I have ever seen before,’ he said. ‘It looks unusual but the most plausible thing is that it is the perfect storm of punters opposing each other rather than fixing. People can lose as much as they win, which is what I believe it to be.
Arsenal’s star player was finally cautioned. This led to bookmakers reporting the huge amount of money to the FA.
‘I don’t think Premier League footballers on £175,000 a week are fixing, even to the slightly larger amounts you can win on exchanges.’
FA sources privately doubted that the player was aware of the betting patterns. They could also be held responsible.
Spot-fixing cases are very rare in the UK, but Bradley Woods (defender for Lincoln City) was expelled from the country in 2018. He was found guilty of intentionally getting booked twice in their FA Cup quarterfinals run.
The text revealed that Wood had a plan to gather yellow cards with seven close friends in just two ties.
Plotters stood to win a total of £10,000 for two different bets, so the money staked would have been a few thousand pounds, far less than in the Arsenal match. However, it raised concerns among bookmakers.
Arsenal booked sixteen different players this season.