Former Rotherham United manager Ronnie Moore feels it is “ridiculous” he has lost his job at Tranmere because of a breach of betting rules, which included one bet for his sister-in-law’s son that won £3.93
The 61-year-old pleaded guilty at a Football Association hearing at Wembley on Thursday and was handed a one-month suspended ban from football and a £2,000 fine after placing close to a 100 bets over a three-year period.
He was fired in April by the League One club, who went on to get relegated under the temporary care of John McMahon, following a suspension in February, with the hierarchy at Prenton Park not even discussing the issue with him beforehand.
However, the online account was used by Moore and three family members and the bet that landed him in hot water was a win-double on Moore’s club Tranmere and Manchester United that came in and won his sister-in-law’s son less than £4.
“The average bet was £12. It’s ridiculous. And the £1000 or so I put on, only £250 was mine,” he said. “They used to give me the money because I opened the account when I wasn’t even working.
“How it went on for so long was disappointing for me, waiting nearly three months for the verdict, having been interviewed once before by the FA was bad.
“I genuinely thought that I would get a warning, I never imagined they would take it any further. I told them it was an honest mistake, it has been family bets over a three-year period.
“The bet on Tranmere, it was a £1 win-double that my sister-in-law placed. She text me saying that her son really fancied Tranmere to win away at Colchester and Manchester United to beat QPR, so she asked me to put the bet on for her because I had the account.
“So I put the bet on for him, not for me, and he ended up winning £3.93.
“He was made up because he got a win, not knowing what the consequences would be.
“It was a genuine, honest mistake, do people honestly think that I would put a £1 bet on my own team? I could understand if I had £15,000 on Tranmere to get beat, then I should get hammered into the ground, but it seems extreme to me that a £1 bet should cost you your job.
“Because there was a bet on Tranmere, albeit not my bet, I could have been suspended for 0-6 months, so they gave me the lowest one possible because they have seen the nature of the bets.”
Moore, whose syndicate made a loss over the period, has been told by the FA that his integrity has not been called into question and believes the governing body accept that his intentions were honest.
The former Rotherham boss (1980-3) is less enamoured by how he was treated by Rovers, though.
“I think it was an easy way out for them,” he added. “Had we been top of the league, there was no way in this earth it would have happened.
“I wasn’t even asked about it, surely the first thing you’d do if your manager was involved was to get him in a room and have a one-to-one with him, but just to be suspended was frustrating.
“Because the account was in my name, I was guilty. But in my eyes I was not guilty because I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong.
“It comes down to gross misconduct for a £1 bet.
“I know there were other bets on there but it was a family account and I explained that.
“But as a manager of a football club I should have known the rules. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t. I wouldn’t have done it if I’d have known.
“I want to get back working. I have had 16 or 17 years as a manager, done nearly 900 games, I want to get to the 1000-mark because that won’t happen again in modern-day football.
“I have got nothing to be ashamed of. The FA have said that my integrity has not been called into question.”