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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 14:59 GMT
FA bans former Exeter directors
John Russell and Mike Lewis
Russell (left) and Lewis pleaded guilty to fraud at their trial in 2007
Former Exeter City directors John Russell and Mike Lewis have been permanently suspended from all football activity, with no review for 10 years.

Ex-chairman Russell was jailed for 21 months in 2007 for fraudulent trading.

And he did not respond to two Football Association charges of improper conduct over fraudulent trading and obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception.

Lewis, who was sentenced to 200 hours of community work in 2007, admitted his own FA improper conduct charge.

The former Grecians vice-chairman had, like Russell, been charged with improper conduct in respect of an offence of fraudulent trading.

Russell and Lewis both pleaded guilty to fraud at their trial at Bristol Crown Court in May 2007.

They left Exeter 4.5m in debt when it was sold to the club's Supporters' Trust in May 2003, shortly after Russell and Lewis were first arrested by Devon and Cornwall Police's fraud squad investigating financial irregularities at the club.

At the end of the 2002/03 season, City were relegated from the Football League to the Conference after a campaign in which three different managers had taken charge.

Also that season, celebrity spoon-bender Uri Geller was announced as 'co-chairman' but was never registered as a director with Companies House or the Football League - and he subsequently distanced himself from Russell and Lewis.

However, the FA, the game's governing body, has now ruled that the pair will be "permanently suspended from football and all football activity, with no review for 10 years".

The suspension takes place with immediate effect.

SEE ALSO
Club bosses deny allegations
15 May 03 |  Devon


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