Kettering chairman George Rolls suspended from football

George Rolls

Kettering chairman George Rolls has been suspended from football for five years after breaches of Football Association betting laws were proven.

Rolls was also fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct by an independent regulatory commission.

The charges were in relation to betting irregularities between 2007-2010 when he was on the Cambridge United board and also associated with Weymouth.

Rolls responded: "I am flabbergasted and shocked at the decision."

He added: "I believe thousands of participants are falling foul of the FA rules as they are not aware of them.

"I am sure many more people will fall unwittingly into the same trap as I have done and further charges may well be levied against individuals.

"My involvement as club chairman will have to cease with immediate effect for the next five years.

"[But] the hard work that has already been going on behind-the-scenes at Kettering Town - with strong leadership qualities from the new board alongside the new manager - will hopefully continue.

"This matter has never been a criminal investigation and I will not incur a criminal record because of it. I have merely fallen foul of FA rules [for] which I am very sorry."

Rolls' suspension includes influence, management and administration in football. He does have a right of appeal against the decision.

BBC Radio Northampton understands that a board meeting will take place imminently.

Rolls has been acting in an advisory capacity at Nene Park since April, although he was linked to the then-Blue Square Bet Premier club towards the start of the year.

In March he donated money to the club and paid off the tax bill from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs that could have resulted in a winding-up petition being issued against the club.

It was expected that the approval by creditors of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) would result in his take-over of the club from Imraan Ladak.

As acting-chairman he appointed John Beck as manager in June.

Meanwhile, Kettering Town have been issued with another winding-up petition, due to be heard at the Companies Court on Monday.

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