Exclusive: Danny Mills issues strong statement after official Leeds player news
Danny Mills says that the punishment handed to Leeds United midfielder Jordan Stevens for breaching gambling rules is fair considering the circumstances.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and England defender says that the 19-year-old will have been well aware of the rules in place over betting as a footballer and that he deserves to be punished accordingly.
The Elland Road youngster was handed a six-week ban from all footballing activities by the Football Association for placing bets on football over a nine-month period, which included gambling on games involving Leeds.
Mills says that the ban will act as a warning shot to the young talent and other players out there, insisting that every footballer is made aware of the regulations over gambling.
Mills told Football Insider: “You know the rules, you’re told them all the time. If you do it and you get caught, and I hope everyone who does do it gets caught, you have to take your punishment. I don’t think six weeks is harsh, especially when you think that can only be six games. It’s not massive, is it?
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“If he’s not going to be playing for the first-team, is it really a punishment not to be playing for the under-23s for six weeks? Not really. What proportion is the fine of his wages? You’re only going to get a couple of weeks, max, out of that – not a lot in the grand scheme of things.
“There have been plenty of high profile cases where players know you are not allowed to gamble on football and you are certainly not allowed to gamble on your own team. It has to be a warning shot, whether you’re young or not, you’ve broken the rules and you have to take your punishment.”
Stevens has played once for the first-team at Elland Road, picking up 14 minutes against Stoke City in the Championship, but has not been used by Marcelo Bielsa this season.
Footballers like Joey Barton, Daniel Sturridge and Andros Townsend have all found themselves banned by the FA for breaching gambling regulations over the years, with the current Fleetwood Town boss suspended for 18 months from all footballing activity.