Wally Downes: AFC Wimbledon suspend manager after he’s charged by Football Association over alleged breach of betting rules

25 Sep

AFC Wimbledon manager Wally Downes has been suspended by the club after receiving a Football Association charge over an alleged breach of betting regulations.

The charges relate to a series of eight bets Downes made between 2013 and this summer.

Downes took charge of Wimbledon in December 2018
Getty Images - Getty

A statement on AFC Wimbledon’s official website read: “Club manager Wally Downes has been suspended from first team duties pending further notice.

“The club has been informed that Wally has been charged by the FA for Misconduct under FA Rule E1(b) in respect of 8 bets placed on football matches between 30 November 2013 and 12 July 2019.”

The statement continued: “Given the seriousness of this breach in FA regulations, the club has decided to suspend Wally with immediate effect, giving time for the club and Dons Trust boards to look at the allegations more closely and make a further announcement in due course.”

Downes, 58, a much-travelled coach, has been in charge at the Cherry Red Records Stadium since December 2018.

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The Dons currently sit just one place off the foot of the League One table with three points from their 10 games to date and no win in 12 matches in all competitions this season.

He kept the club up on goal difference last season as they finished with a run of five wins and five draws in their final 11 games.

However, they are without a win in 12 outings in all competitions to date during the current campaign and have collected only three league points from a possible 30 to sit a point off the foot of the table with only Bolton, who have had 12 points deducted, worse off.

Assistant manager Glyn Hodges will take charge of team affairs for Saturday’s trip to Peterborough.

AFC Wimbledon appoint ‘Crazy Gang’ legend Wally Downes as their new manager

4 Dec

Wally Downes has been appointed AFC Wimbledon manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.

The 57-year-old former Dons midfielder succeeds Neal Ardley, who left Kingsmeadow last month and has since taken charge at Notts County.

Wally Downes has been appointed manager of AFC Wimbledon

He takes charge of the League One side 14 years after his first and only other managerial job, in charge of Brentford between June 2002 and March 2004.

Downes made over 200 appearances as a central figure in the Wimbledon “Crazy Gang” which rose through the Football League in the 1980s, before the club was moved to Milton Keynes and replaced in Wimbledon by the new club formed by supporters.

He then spent several years working as an assistant to manager Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace, Brentford and Reading and spent two years as Bees manager in his own right after Coppell left the club.

He has also coached at Southampton, West Ham and Indian side Jamshedpur.

Downes told the Dons’ website: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly.

“I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League One.”

The appointment was not without controversy, with the club’s announcement referencing social media posts by Downes that are “not consistent with our values”.

Downes spent two years as a coach at West Ham

The statement added: “We have talked at length with Wally about this (and) we are satisfied that these do not represent Wally’s views. We have agreed a series of actions with Wally that we believe will demonstrate his commitment to the club’s values.”

Downes added: “I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake.

“I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed.”