EXCLUSIVE: Ex-accused of blackmailing football director ‘gambling junkie’

It is the story of a football manager gambling with nearly £1m and a long and complex police investigation that has led to two former players appearing in court accused of extortion.

It sounds like a plot that might seem far-fetched for a television drama about football blurring the lines with alleged criminality.

But that was the actual scene that played out in court on Friday as a racketeering case against two former professionals was dropped after the manager in question – a self-confessed gambling addict – made it clear he didn’t want it to continue.

Alan Rogers (right above), formerly of Nottingham Forest And the Leicester Cityone for extortion and another for perverting the course of justice.

Stephen Jennings (above left), former Everton The intern, who spent most of his career at Tranmere Rovers, faced the same charges and another for extortion.

The two defendants denied the crimes and would not have to appear before a jury after the CPS decided it was not in the public interest to continue a case that already involved years of editorial work.

A court order was issued to report restrictions to prevent disclosure of anything that might lead to the director’s identification.

The director was said to want his complaint dropped and the judge previously said the director’s remarks had caused him “concern about (the principal’s) well-being”.

the athlete It was the only media outlet in court where an unusual picture emerged of an alleged extortion plot and a possible trial that the director had been trying to stop throughout the year.

Rogers now plans to sue the manager in question and says he will “throw the book on him” to compensate for the damages.

The details of the case included the following:

  • The manager in question bet 879,000 pounds ($1 million) over two years, with losses of 270,000 pounds.
  • The judge had to intervene after the director showed tickets for the match to the investigator leading the investigation.
  • The manager had up to eight betting accounts, and his game, ranging from £5 to £400, included a “handful” of football-related bets. In football it is forbidden for anyone to bet on their own sport.

Rogers, 45, started his career at Tranmere before Forrest paid £2m to make the first. Liverpool trainee Premier League Player in 1997. Rogers earned the nickname “Tank” because of his playing style. Won 3 international matches for England Under-21, and after three years with Leicester, he’s back in Forest for a second term. He also played for Wigan AthleticAnd the Hall CityBradford City and Accrington Stanley, retired as a footballer in 2007, and coached at Burnley and Tranmere.

Jennings, 37, has had three different spells at Tranmere, where he has made more than 200 appearances, also playing MotherwellAnd the Coventry Cityand Port Vale and several non-league clubs.

The judge recorded verdicts acquitting the two men.

“I have no idea how he was dragged into this,” said Rogers, “that is the honest truth of God.” the athlete after the session. “I have to be careful what I say because I am going to throw the book at him (the director). I have never met this young man, never spoken to him, never been in his company, never been in contact with him, and somehow drifted into his gambling addiction.”

“I’m going to sue him now. This cost me between £85,000 to £100,000 in legal fees for something I had never known. I knew it was going to be thrown out of court.

“I put a £100,000 deposit on file with my solicitor and want to get every single penny I lost back. I will sue him and I will throw every extra penny I have in order to hit him from every angle. I will also challenge anonymity because I have been named in public when I didn’t Absolutely nothing. It’s actually a comic, but the last few years have been a nightmare.”


Rogers playing at Forest in 2004 (Photo: John Walton/Impex via Getty Images)

The court was previously told that the manager agreed that there was a gambling problem and that he “excluded himself from major gamblers”.

In a previous hearing, it was also revealed that the director signed a statement in January saying he did not want to pursue the case. He followed this up in August by saying that he still opposes the continuation of the case and wants to move on with his life. The judge, after reading the principal’s notes, said that it “is of concern to me about his safety…he wants to put this firmly behind him.”

Rogers and Jennings were initially scheduled to stand trial, but the case was held several times while the prosecution, via police, arranged for face-to-face conversations with the director to determine his position.

In a striking development, the judge in charge of the investigation ordered that those conversations not take place. This came after the discovery of text messages showing that the manager was inviting the investigator and his son to watch one of his team’s matches.

Timothy Cray, representing Rogers, argued at the time that the investigator should not be involved due to the discovery of these texts—and the judge agreed, despite the objections of the prosecution’s attorney, John Halesi.

Halesi said the investigator spent a significant amount of time building a “relationship of trust” with the complainant, understanding the case and not ordering or using match tickets.

In June, it was discovered that the manager had another previously undisclosed betting account.

The director reiterated that he “wanted to go on with his life” and left this to the prosecution to decide whether to stop the case or make him appear in court against his will.

Amid a series of delays and apparent miscommunication, the Public Prosecution Office has been criticized for its handling of a case that, according to the first judge, had a “long and difficult history”.

Judge Sean Smith, who took up the case earlier this year, was more critical. “People seem to be dealing with this issue,” he said. “This falls into an absolute hole in terms of the allegation.”

Additional reporting: Tim Spiers and Philip Buckingham

(Top images: Getty Images)