The League One player was handed down the penalty following an investigation resulting in an enforcement action by the regulator, the Independent Regulatory Commission. According to the watchdog, Clark was in breach of the Football Association’s betting rules, having placed 312 bets on various soccer games.
No Malicious Intent in Clark’s Actions
He wagered on sports events between February 2022 and March 2023 when he was part of Accrington Stanley and is one of the players to have placed the most wagers and to have been caught breaking the FA’s rules. Proceedings against the player began in May this year with a swift resolution and establishment of guilt.
Clark has mostly wagered on other teams, but he also placed at least one bet that had to do with his own team losing, which puts into question the integrity of his own performance as well as the team’s. Although the litany of offenses seems long and serious, the watchdog has decided to mete out a lighter penalty.
This was done after a careful investigation of the case. The investigators could not find evidence or instances in which Clark was deliberately slowing down his game or trying to underperform in order to make his team lose, hence the leniency. The exact statement from the investigators read as follows:
Overall, in the panel’s opinion, there was no evidence of the defendant showing a particular proclivity or consistent intent to target his team losing in his betting activity, or any indication that he had sought to attempt to influence or bring about a negative result for his team.
Independent Regulatory Commission
Betting Suspensions More Common in Sports Leagues
Clark is not the only player to have been found in breaches of FA betting laws. Another person, Ivan Toney, was suspended and handed an eight-month ban. The Brentford striker had placed at least 262 bets, some of which involved his own team.
He owed up to some of these issues, arguing that he had indeed wagered on most of the games he was accused of. However, Toney denied having placed a few dozen wagers in the process of the investigation.
The striker was also highly critical of the early leaks that had got to the media and made the case public before a final ruling had been reached. Toney was also battling gambling addiction at the time of the betting offenses.