Footballer ‘urged to throw match’


Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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A former Premier League striker urged a footballer at a struggling non-league club to make some “easy money” by fixing the result of a match, a court has heard.

Ex-Bolton Wanderers forward Delroy Facey, 34, is also alleged to have told a contact that some Football Conference teams would “do” a game in return for payment.

Facey, whose former clubs include Hull City and West Bromwich Albion, is accused of conspiring with non-league player Moses Swaibu and others to commit bribery.

On the second day of a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Nick Mather claimed records of online messages showed Facey had approached footballers about “throwing” lower league matches.

In one text conversation, conducted on messaging service WhatsApp in late 2013, Facey is alleged to have tried to corrupt Greater Manchester-based Hyde FC player Scott Spencer by offering him £2,000.

The court heard that Facey, of Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, made contact with Mr Spencer shortly after discussing Hyde’s poor run of form with a convicted match-fixer.

Mr Spencer, who the court heard was not involved in any form of match-fixing, is alleged to have been messaged by Facey, who told him: “You lot (Hyde) get rinsed out, week in, week out.

“You lot should make some money out of this lad, easy money.

“Check this out. Four goals in a game – two in either half – and you guys can get 2k each, win lose or draw.

“You guys can’t win for s*** so you may as well make some peas.”

During the WhatsApp conversation, which was read to jurors by Mr Mather, Facey is alleged to have added that a friend who was betting would provide the cash.

Addressing the jury on the second day of his opening speech, Mr Mather claimed Facey was attempting to bribe Mr Spencer and team-mates that he trusted into fixing a match.

Mr Mather further alleged that Facey told a convicted match-fixer in another message: “I have got (Football) Conference teams that will ‘do’ a game but how much?”

Transcripts of messages which passed between Facey and 43-year-old Krishna Ganeshan, who was found guilty of conspiracy at an earlier trial, were also shown to the jury.

In an exchange on October 28 2013, the court heard, Ganeshan used Skype to contact Facey, telling him: “Get ready, things are about to come to life. Keep your boys on stand-by.

“If they deliver first time, me and only you are in big business for the future.”

The Crown claims the Skype discussion – and a message sent by Facey claiming six players in the Football Conference were “amenable” to match-fixing – could not have been part of an attempt to rip off a gambling syndicate.

Mr Mather told the jury: “It may be suggested to you that what Delroy Facey was actually up to was trying to scam people who were betting on football matches.

“The prosecution say that is not the case.”

Facey and Swaibu, 25, of Tooley Street, Bermondsey, south London, deny conspiring together and with others to commit bribery between November 1 and 27 2013.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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