Manchester United: Wayne Rooney's Father and Uncle Held in Betting Scam Probe

Lawrence McNeelaContributor IIIOctober 6, 2011

LONDON COLNEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Wayne Rooney looks on during the England training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 Group G qualifier against Montenegro on October 4, 2011 in London Colney, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Merseyside police today arrested Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney's father and uncle as part of an investigation into an illegal betting scam involving Scottish football.

On 14 December 2010 Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings was sent off for foul and abusive language toward match referee Stevie O'Reilly. This was during a match against Edinburgh club Heart of Midlothian. He had already received a yellow card by the time of the sending off.

Wayne Rooney Sr. and Richie Rooney are two of nine men arrested for conspiracy to defraud. The Association of British Bookmakers had raised concerns about a large number of bets placed in the Liverpool area on a sending off during the game. Jennings himself, who is originally from Liverpool and began his career at Merseyside club Tranmere Rovers, is among those arrested.

At this stage, it is believed that Jennings has denied any wrongdoing.

With England facing a make-or-break European Championship qualifier against Macedonia on Friday evening, this news could hardly have come at a worse time for Rooney. The Manchester United star is arguably in the best form of his life and is widely tipped to start alongside fellow Old Trafford striker Danny Welbeck.