Preston North End footballers bailed over spot-fixing probe

John Welsh, Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies and Graham Cummins Image copyright Getty Images/Empics
Image caption (Clockwise from top left) John Welsh, Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, Graham Cummins, Ben Davis and David Buchanan have been released on bail

Six Preston North End footballers were among seven players arrested in connection with a spot-fixing investigation, the BBC understands.

The club's captain John Welsh and players Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies and Graham Cummins were arrested on Thursday.

All six have expressed their innocence to the club and have been bailed.

Barnsley midfielder Stephen Dawson was also arrested and bailed. He has been unavailable for comment.

The investigation concerns matches this season and last season.

'Business as usual'

A Preston North End spokesman said: "We are disappointed that individual player names are in the public domain given that none of these individuals have been charged with any offence.

"Having had time to meet with all the individuals concerned we reiterate our position that all players will remain available for selection by the manager and that until or unless the current situation changes it will be business as usual."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stephen Dawson has been unavailable for comment

In a statement, Barnsley Football Club said it was "aware of reports in media in connection with an investigation into individuals suspected of conspiracy to commit acts of bribery and money laundering relating to conduct during football matches".

The BBC understands three of the Preston players are expected to play on Saturday.

Ben Davies and Graham Cummins are on loan at League Two sides York City and Rochdale respectively.

On Thursday, the National Crime Agency said six other men arrested in December on suspicion of involvement in spot-fixing and later bailed, had been re-arrested.

Those arrested in December - including former Premier League player DJ Campbell - had been bailed to return on 8 April.

Spot-fixing is where a player corruptly influences a specific element of a match, for example by intentionally getting a yellow card or conceding a corner, without trying to fix the final score.

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