Rangers’ Ian Black ‘bet against own team’

Ian Black lifted the Scottish Cup at Hearts. Picture: Steve Welsh/Comp
Ian Black lifted the Scottish Cup at Hearts. Picture: Steve Welsh/Comp
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Former Hearts player Ian Black has been accused by the Scottish Football Association of betting against his own team.

The star, from Tranent, who now plies his trade with Rangers, was hit with an SFA notice of complaint that alleges he bet against his “then-registered club” three times between March 4, 2006 and July 28, 2013.

This encompasses spells at each of his last three clubs – Inverness, Hearts and Rangers.

The 28-year-old has also been charged with breaching the SFA’s disciplinary rule 22 by betting on a further ten games in which the club he was playing for were involved, as well as betting on a further 147 games not involving his team.

It is understood that the player’s actions came to light through his use of a Ladbrokes phone account.

Black moved to Ibrox in July 2012 after his contract at Hearts expired. He joined Inverness in 2004 and spent five seasons with the club before joining the Jambos.

The SFA has not made known which of his former sides are involved in each case.

However, on the first date mentioned in the notice of complaint, he played 90 minutes for Inverness in a 1-0 home defeat by Motherwell, which cut Caley Thistle’s lead over Well to three points in the race for a top-six place.

The final date in question saw him score in a 4-0 Ramsdens Cup victory for Rangers against Albion Rovers.

A Rangers spokesman said the club was aware of the SFA notice of complaint and was currently investigating.

The midfielder, who began his career as a youth player with Tranent Boys’ Club and was a trainee with Blackburn Rovers, now has until Monday to respond to the match betting complaint, with a preliminary trial set for September 12.

Footballers registered in Scotland are prohibited by the Scottish FA from betting on any football match anywhere in the world.

If found guilty, players can be fined from £500 to £1 million and can be either suspended or expelled from playing professional football.

This isn’t the first time the lifelong Hearts fan has hit the headlines. Last year he was cleared of a charge of being in possession of cocaine at the Lava & Ignite nightclub in the city’s Tollcross in May 2011.

Black constantly denied the allegation and the case was dropped after witnesses failed to attend to give evidence.

He famously worked as a painter and decorator in December 2011 to help pay bills when his Hearts wages were overdue.

A Rangers spokesman said: “The club is aware of the SFA’s notice of complaint and is currently investigating.”