Leeds have released a statement after youngster Jordan Stevens was banned from all football activities for six weeks for breaching betting rules.
The 19-year-old’s ban, which includes all football activities including training, runs until October 10.
Stevens accepted a charge over 59 bets, which cost him a total of £510.12 and netted him zero profit.
He was also fined £1,200 by the FA, who claimed the fact that he attended an FA presentation on betting rules at Leeds on September 20, 2018 was an “aggravating factor”.
An independent regulatory commission heard Stevens, who was from Gloucester, had found it hard to integrate at Leeds.
The commission concluded that he had a “wilful disregard” of the betting rules after placing five bets on Leeds, but not games he played him himself.
The FA’s written report read: “It is notable that three of the bets were placed on Leeds United to win and two were on both teams to score twice. We accept the FA’s submission that those five bets are the most serious aspect of the case.”
The midfielder also had 23 bets on Championship games and cup competitions which Leeds played in.
Leeds have responded to the punishment and believe his punishment is “excessive” but admitted the player needs “educating”.
Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear told the club’s website: “Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FA’s role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FA’s choice of sanction.
📰 | #LUFC acknowledge sanctions passed down by the FA to Jordan Stevens
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 10, 2019
“To prevent a young footballer from taking part in any football activities at such critical period of his career is a disproportionate punishment following a foolish mistake from a young player.
“We are particularly disappointed that the sanction was determined by two former professional footballers who we hoped would have had a better understanding of the impact of their decision.”
The FA’s report also stated: “Whilst JS is by definition an inexperienced young professional footballer, we cannot go so far as the written submissions on his behalf as to say that he is “extremely inexperienced”.
“The Commission notes that JS was starting to train with the experienced professionals of the first team at Leeds United and occasionally featuring in the first team squad.
“However, the single most serious aggravating feature of JS’ case is his knowledge and experience of the betting rules. On his own admission, JS was aware of the betting rules. Having received the FA presentation on 20th September 2018 JS continued to bet, indeed the vast majority of the bets were placed after this date.”