Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich Town: Blues set to stand by disgraced Chopra

09:22 26 January 2013

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town's Michael Chopra

PA Wire/Press Association Images

IPSWICH Town will stand by disgraced striker Michael Chopra despite him being branded a liar and warned off racecourses for 10 years for his part in fixing horse races, the EADT understands.

shares

The 29-year-old self-confessed gambling addict was found to have been involved in race-fixing following an inquiry by the British Horseracing Authority.

In addition to being warned off, Chopra cannot associate with anyone licensed by the BHA, or go to any licensed training establishment.

But the EADT understands that Ipswich Town will not take disciplinary action against Chopra, because he remains a valuable asset and his misdemeanours happened before he joined the club.

That stance may not please some Blues fans - in a poll run on the EADT website, in which more than 900 people voted, around 64% said the club should dismiss the player.

Yesterday, the inquiry found Chopra and eight other people, including former jockey Andrew Heffernan, were involved in corruption relating to laying horses to lose on betting exchanges.

The findings will now be reviewed by the Gambling Commission, which decides whether to refer such inquiries to police. However, a spokesman said cases dealt with by a sport’s governing body do not normally lead to prosecutions.

There is also no indication at this stage that Ipswich Town will take any disciplinary action against Chopra - who chose not to appear at last week’s inquiry - despite the BHA’s damning conclusions about his honesty, and involvement corrupt practices.

The club’s highest wage earner, who is understood to paid in the region of £17,000 a week, was playing for Cardiff City at the time of race-fixing.

Steve Pearce, Ipswich Town’s press manager, said: “This is a private matter between Michael and the British Horseracing Authority.

“Michael issued a statement before the inquiry began stating his reasons why he would not be appearing in front of the BHA.

“He has nothing further to add to that statement at this stage and wants to concentrate on an important game at Bristol City at the weekend.”

The BHA inquiry stated Chopra’s interviews to investigators consisted of lies, which were exposed to be “utterly untrue”.

Chopra was found in breach of committing corrupt and fraudulent practices and offering a bribe, while fellow footballer James Coppinger was found guilty of corrupt and fraudulent practices.

Former England Under-21s international Mark Wilson was found in breach of committing corrupt and fraudulent practices and offering a bribe.

Five other individuals - including Chopra’s former agent Yogesh Joshee, Paul Garner, Douglas Shelley, Kelly Inglis and Pravin Shingardia - were also found in breach of the rules of racing.

Laying out the evidence against Chopra, the BHA report was scathing in its findings.

The report stated: “It was plain beyond doubt to the panel that Chopra was fully engaged in the conspiracy.

“He did not attend the inquiry, or even send in some indication of his defence in writing. Thus, his only contribution was in the interviews he gave to the BHA Investigators.

“Much of what he said in those interviews consisted of lies. His denial of knowing Heffernan or of ever speaking to him was exposed as utterly untrue.”

Heffernan was warned off for 15 years, Inglis received a four-year disqualification, Garner 12-and-a-half years, Wilson 10 years, Joshee five years, Shingadia three years, Coppinger three years, and Shelley was excluded for eight years.

All have seven days within which to appeal.

Chopra has rarely been away from the headlines during his stint at Ipswich Town which began in the summer of 2011.

During this time it emerged through evidence given by chief executive Simon Clegg during a major drugs trial at Newcastle Crown Court that the club had advanced Chopra £250,000 to help pay gambling debts.

The court also heard debt collectors had been sent to the club’s Playford Road training ground demanding Chopra pay back money he was said to have owed.

Last season the striker spent three weeks in the Sporting Chance rehabilitation clinic in a bid to banish his addiction to gambling.

In addition Chopra has been involved in court for three driving offences which have led to two separate driving bans.

Related articles

shares

4 comments

  • Nice impartial piece of reporting here, well done. Why would the club sack him when he hasn't actually committed a criminal offence? Chopra is clearly no angel but is equally clearly trying to beat his gambling addiction by himself and also with the help of him employer. Far from being in disgrace, this could actually help him!

    Report this comment

    Andrew Mehen

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • We already knew Chopra had gambling debts of hundreds of thousands of pounds - now we know he managed to run these up even though he was cheating & conspiring to fix races. OK we don't know that this level of incompetance will necessarily be transfered to the pitch - though we do have some good indications. What it does show is the character of the man - Brian Clough always put charaacter above ability & this philosophy seemed to serve him well throughout most of his career.

    Report this comment

    Old Timer

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • I voted to sack him but mainly because he's past it and more trouble than he's worth !

    Report this comment

    gaz man gaz

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • I also note that no EADT journalist dare put his name to this article. Or was it cut and pasted from the Daily Mail?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Mehen

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Cilla Black has died at her holiday home in Spain.

Television personality and singer Cilla Black has died in Spain at the age of 72.

The steam engine 'road run' sets off from Acton.

Around 20 vintage steam engines took to the highways of west Suffolk and north Essex this weekend for a special anniversary road trip.

View from Princes Street Bridge

Police in Ipswich closed a street in the town earlier this morning while they dealt with a man who they thought might jump from a bridge.

Lord Deben John Gummer, Christine Block, from Deben Estuary Partnership, Karen Thomas, from Water Management Alliance, Graham Henderson, from DEP, Simon Amstutz, from AONB, Therese Coffey MP, David Kemp from the Environment Agency, and Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith gathered to launch the Deben Estuary Plan.

Three years of work have created a new community-led blueprint to protect and manage one of Suffolk’s treasures, the River Deben estuary

Detectives investigating a burglary at a home in Colchester have issued an efit of a man they would like to identify in connection with the incident.

Age UK is looking for volunteers to take part in a video

Bosses at Age UK Suffolk are looking for 10 older people to take part in a new promotional video that is being made to show off the work of the charity.

Andrew Gaskell, who was almost totally paralised in a scrum accident playing for Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club in 1998, lost body hair in a bid to raise £5.500 for a standing wheelchair.

A former Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club player who was partially paralysed in a scrum accident 17 years ago has gone for the smooth-bodied look in a bid to raise more than £5,000 for a specialist piece of equipment.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail delays at Colchester have been caused by a broken down train.

Rendlesham Care Centre rated ‘good’ by CQC (L-R) Danielle Brown, Administrator; Liz Slight, Home Manager; Maxine Crisp, Carer; Fabian Lossa, Carer; Rachael Last, Receptionist

Rendlesham Care Centre was found to provide a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service according to the CQC report.

A diversion has been put in place

Severe traffic delays in Chelmsford have been caused by a traffic collision.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages