Downes departs Dons following FA charge

English League One side AFC Wimbledon has parted company with manager Wally Downes after he was issued with a four-week suspension from all football-related activity following a breach of betting rules. 

Announcing his departure, the club cited that a change of manager was the best route to retaining its upturn of results in recent weeks, whilst Downes has served a suspension. 

Downes, who was also fined £3,000 for the offences, was deemed to have wagered a total of eight bets between November 2013 and July 2019. 

Issuing a statement, the FA said: “AFC Wimbledon manager Wally Downes has been fined £3,000 and suspended from all football and football-related activity for 28 days, until November 14 2019, after admitting breaching FA Betting rules.

“Downes placed five bets on football matches between 30 November 2013 and 30 January 2014, and three bets between 16 March 2019 and 12 July 2019.”

The act breaches the FA’s E8 rules on betting conduct, which strictly prohibit FA registered athletes, match officials, club management, stewards and representatives from placing bets both directly or indirectly on football matches of any level.

Following the agreement, the club praised Downes, stating: “Naturally, Wally leaves with our sincerest best wishes for the future and his place in our club’s history – as both a player and manager – assured.

“In particular, Wally’s legacy can be found in the young vibrant squad we see on the pitch today, his attention to the financial constraints of the club and ensuring we maintained financial sustainability and laying the foundations for a squad capable of achieving a healthier league position.

“Under the terms of the agreement reached with Wally, we will be making no further public statement about either his departure or the betting charges.”

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