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North End players cleared of spot fixing allegations

John Welsh, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies, Keith Keane and ex-striker Graham Cummins

John Welsh, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies, Keith Keane and ex-striker Graham Cummins

FIVE Preston North End players and a former player have been cleared of spot-fixing allegations.

Club captain John Welsh, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies, Keith Keane and ex-striker Graham Cummins were arrested and question on April 4 over allegations they had been deliberately booked in matches.

They were released on police bail after questioning and never charged with any offence, and were due to answer that bail next Wednesday at police stations in Rotherham and Cheadle Heath.

But police contacted North End on Friday to inform the players that they had been released from bail and were no longer under any arrest procedure.

It is a huge relief for the players who vigorously denied any wrong-doing when questioned by the police.

The six came under the media limelight on a national scale, with their arrest in April by officers from the National Crime Agency receiving widespread coverage.

At the time they were arrested and subsequently after, Welsh, Wright, Buchanan and Keane were regulars in the North End first-team.

Cummins, who left Deepdale in the summer at the conclusion of his contract, was on loan at Rochdale when he was arrested.

Defender Davies, 18, was on loan at York City to gain first-team experience, but is now back at North End.

Wright was included in Australia’s World Cup squad in Brazil despite the allegations hanging over him.

A statement released by PNE said: “In April of this year a number of our players were very publicly arrested in connection with a wider investigation into ‘spot fixing’ in football.

“At the time, they were bailed with a date for answering bail subsequently set for Wednesday 30th July 2014.

“We have today been informed that all of our players have been released from bail and are no longer under any form of formal arrest procedure.

“There will be no further comment on this matter.”

 

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