Bookies tell SPL of 'extra evidence' in Jennings red card probe

Blue Square, the bookmaking firm who reported suspicious betting activity on the Motherwell versus Hearts game on Tuesday evening, have contacted the Scottish Premier League to tell them that there is more to the controversial business of Steve Jennings's red card than is currently in the public domain.

• Jennings gets his card

On the day of the match, one individual, based in the Liverpool area, opened a new account with Blue Square and had two separate 100 bets on Motherwell receiving a red card in the game. He then attempted to have further bets on the red card, only to find that the firm's online filter system denied him the opportunity.

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Scotland on Sunday has learned that other bookmaking firms reported irregular activity on the Motherwell red card market on Tuesday, William Hill, Sky Bet and Ladbrokes among them.

Blue Square, however, were able to monitor the punter's activity and became suspicious when Motherwell's Jennings was sent-off late in the match for foul and abusive language directed at referee Steve O'Reilly.

"We've been criticised by some people for raising the issue of what might have gone on during that match," said Blue Square's spokesman, Alan Alger. "But what I want to emphasise is that this is not something we have just done on a whim because we want a whinge. We don't do things like this lightly. We've investigated the way the bets were placed and after 12 years in the betting industry I know what looks suspicious. We were alerted by certain things and I spoke to the SPL to tell them that we have extra evidence, that we have found X and that is why we're pursuing it. We can't release the details because that might jeopardise the investigation.

"I know people are wanting to rally around the player and the club, but having heard Blue Square being criticised I wanted to say categorically that we wouldn't have taken it this far had we not had extra information, which we have brought to the attention of the Gambling Commission."

Asked if the extra information had anything to do with a link between the gambler and the player, Alger wouldn't comment. "What I will say is that we're happy that we have enough of a case to bring this to the next level," he said.

Motherwell remain steadfast in the defence of Jennings, describing it as ludicrous that he was involved in anything untoward.