FA hold Betfair talks over Redknapp return

Betfair have held “formative talks” with the Football Association with regard to betting patterns prior to the appointment of Harry Redknapp as Portsmouth boss.

Betfair have held “formative talks” with the Football Association with regard to betting patterns prior to the appointment of Harry Redknapp as Portsmouth boss.

More than £16.5m (€24m) was traded on the exchange before Redknapp’s return to the south-coast club, and the internet bookmakers insist they are happy to co-operate should the FA choose to launch an inquiry into the matter.

“We will advise (the FA) on what went on and, as the sport’s governing body, it’s entirely up to them if they see a need to investigate,” Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin told the Racing Post.

“The talks are at a formative stage. If the FA want to take it further then we are happy to throw our books open.”

FA spokesman Andrin Cooper told the Daily Express: “I can confirm that we are speaking to Betfair over this issue.

“We are in communications with them. We have a memorandum of understanding and that is in relation to an agreement over information sharing.

“We are aware of the volume of betting on Harry Redknapp to be appointed Portsmouth manager and we are monitoring the situation.”

Redknapp’s former club Southampton have expressed their displeasure about the affair, with the 58-year-old leaving the St Mary’s club at the weekend and having now returned to Pompey.

Saints director Andrew Cowen told the club’s official website www.saintsfc.co.uk: “Money continued to back Harry for the Pompey job on the betting exchanges. Perhaps in the future you should look at what happens there rather than what people say.”

Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe wants the game’s authorities to investigate Redknapp’s switch.

“We do not believe this episode has been conducted within the rules of the game and have made our understanding of the last week available to both the Premier League and the Football League.”

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