Derby County manager Paul Jewell manager has blasted the Football Association’s handling of its investigation into alleged match fixing – and been backed by Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder.
The FA were prompted to act after evidence emerged that Derby’s 2-1 victory at Carrow Road had been the focus of irregular patterns in Asian betting markets, and swiftly announced a full enquiry.
Jewell - adamant he’d have known had any of his players been involved in anything untoward – agrees a full investigation is warranted. But is annoyed nobody from the FA actually contacted Derby before announcing their intention to investigate into the fixture. And Norwich boss Roeder clearly feels the same way.
“If I thought anything like that of my players, they wouldn't be at the football club. That goes for any manager - if your players aren't honest it can't work”, Jewell said.
"It would be nice to be contacted by the FA, just to let us know what's going on. I'd like an attempt to be made to get to the bottom of it, fingers need to be pointed, point them. But the suggestion that any of my players are aware of it is beyond my belief."
And Roeder said: "I believe that too many people publicly state their own opinions when they should keep their own counsel. So when I find out exactly how this has all broken and caused an irritation, I'll decide whether I want to say anything publicly or whether I will keep my own counsel.”
While it is understood the FA has investigated alleged irregularities in matches over the years, it rarely makes any public comment or statement of the details of any such enquiry. It’s the first time since the "floodlight scam" instigated by a Malaysian syndicate in the late 1990s that the FA has actually named a specific match under scrutiny for alleged fixing.
In 1999 four members of an Asian syndicate were jailed after being caught tampering with floodlights.
Jewell has the backing of County Chairman Adam Pearson, who said: “Irregular bets from the Far East go on every now and again and nothing else is heard about them.
“I think because two people have gone on a particular soap box and put it in the public domain in a quite different and forceful way, when the FA, when they look at in a more balanced way, could well ask questions of both clubs which would be answered very quickly.
“The matter will be dealt with, a line put under it and we'll move on. I cannot see any circumstances where you have a protracted investigation into this. It's a complete non-event.”