A youth British football manager was found to have misappropriated donations that he was originally meant to use to buy a new kit for Keyham Kolts football club.
As the court heard, the 38-year-old Matthew Palin, who is a kids football manager, stole over £1,000 from the football club he worked for in order to pay for his compulsive gambling habits. The money was donated for him to buy a new kit.
Mr Palin confessed to the police that he had yielded to temptation, while his legal representative explained to the Plymouth Crown court that his client had lost control of his gambling. The lawyer further told the court that Mr Palin’s problem gambling was now under control and he was willing to repay the football club the money he had stolen.
Judge James Townsend explained that what the football manager did was a mean offence, especially considering the fact that Palin acted when being in a position of trust. Judge Townsend further noted that the money misappropriation had caused much anxiety and upset for the business that had not received the due payment and the club’s management that had been unaware of what had been going on.
The kids’ football manager pleaded guilty to misappropriating a total of £1,056 in the period from June 1st, 2017 and September 30th, 2019.
The Football Manager Has Suffered from Gambling Addiction Since the Age of 16
At the court hearing, Gareth Evans, who represented the Crown Prosecution Service, shared that 38-year-old Palin was manager of the under-15s team at Keyham Kolts. As Evans revealed, the defendant was also involved in the men’s team of the club.
One of the responsibilities of the club’s managers was raising money for the purchase of a new kit.
The Prosecution officer revealed that the offence was uncovered in June 2019, after the club secretary got a £1,056 bill from Kitworld, the club’s kit supplier. At the time, she was fully unaware of the order that had been made on behalf of the club.
Mr Evans further revealed that almost £600 had been raised by Mr Palin, mostly in donations from the children’s parents. Apart from that, the team’s manager collected almost £500 for the men’s team thanks to sponsorship, especially one from the Keyham Vaults pub.
At the court hearing, it became clear that the bill for the kit was paid at the time by the secretary on behalf of the club. At the time when the police officers interviewed him, Mr Palin explained that he had succumbed to his addiction, spending the money away on gambling. The football manager was found to had been having a problem with gambling since the age of 16, with him having gambled “on anything” but being a particularly keen gambler on roulette machines at the time of the money misappropriation.
Judge Townsend handed him a 12-month community order for a total of 120 hours of unpaid work. Palin is also required to pay Keyham Kolts the full amount of £1,056 in compensation within a period of 12 months.