"They know the rules!" Craig Elliott hopes bans dished out to Boston United's Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins serve as a warning to others, but calls on inconsistencies in football gambling to be stamped out

Pilgrims boss labels grey areas 'madness'...
Jay Rollins. Photo: Oliver AtkinJay Rollins. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Jay Rollins. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Boston United manager Craig Elliot believes the inconsistencies surrounding gambling in football have to be stamped out - labelling the current situation 'madness'.

Pilgrims duo Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins are both serving bans for placing bets on the sport - which players in the top eight tiers of the English game have not been allowed to do since 2014.

Elliott does not condone their actions and says he is 'disappointed' to lose the two players - hoping the punishments act as a warning for others.

However, with the National League unveiling 32Red and Unibet as their new official betting partners seven days into the new season, leagues where players are not allowed to gamble on their own sport can still promote and profit from it.

The Boston boss believes this is a grey area in the sport which needs to be addressed.

"It's madness really," Elliott said.

"It's something that needs sorting out in the game from top to bottom, it's another inconsistency in football that needs sorting out."

Dressing room gambling cultures have been notorious in football for decades. However, with players now unable to bet on their own sport - or even pass on insider knowledge to others - Elliott believes improvements have been made.

He added: "I think now in the modern game it's getting stamped out a lot more. You see situations like this and it sends out a firm message."

Thanoj has been handed a five-month ban and £950 fine for placing 319 bets on football matches between September 2014 and May 2020.

Rollins is serving a one-month suspension for placing 438 bets placed on football matches between September 2015 and February 2020. He was also fined £500.

Reflecting on the bans, Elliott said: "I'm disappointed to lose two fantastic players.

"This was what I was alluding to a few weeks ago with difficult situations behind the scenes. I've known about it since June, so managing that and not knowing what would happen has been difficult.

"As a football manager I'm disappointed to lose key players. But these things have happened.

"There'll be nobody more disappointed than the lads themselves. It's a short career and they've missed a lot through Covid - but they know the rules."

Fellow Boston player Connor Dimaio has been charged with placing 29 bets on football matches between August 2014 and May 2016, while winger Terry Hawkridge, who left the Jakemans Community Stadium for Basford United last month, has been charged with placing 35 bets on football matches between May 2016 to March 2017.

These incidents took place before either joined United and are yet to be dealt with by the FA.

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