ER Premier League footballer Delroy Facey is today beginning a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence after being found guilty of attempting to fix matches.
The journeyman forward, who played for 15 clubs including Bolton, West Brom and Hull, was alleged to have contacted a non-league player and suggested he earn £2,000 by throwing games.
Facey, the most high-profile player to be convicted following an investigation by the National Crime Agency, denied any wrongdoing during a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Judge Mary Stacey told the 35-year-old that he had “abused” his role model status by committing offences that had threatened “the very heart of football”.
Facey told Scott Spencer, a player at struggling non-league side Hyde FC, in late 2013 that he could “make some money, easy money” out of the team’s poor form, the court heard.
He was said to have told Spencer: “You lot get rinsed out, week in, week 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.”
Jurors heard of messages to Facey from Krishna Ganeshan, 43, who was jailed for five years in June, in which the player was told to “keep your boys on stand-by”.
Ganeshan added: “If they deliver first time, me and only you are in big business for the future.”