England

Oldham axe Montano for spot-fixing

Adam McGurk - Tranmere Rovers in action against Cristian Montano - Oldham Athletic
Cristian Montano (R) in action against Tranmere's Adam McGurk last season.
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League One club Oldham have sacked forward Cristian Montano for gross misconduct following his arrest in a spot-fixing investigation.

The 22-year-old was one of six players arrested and bailed as part of a probe by the National Crime Agency, which was acting on information passed to them by the Sun on Sunday newspaper.

Oldham, who play in the third tier of English football, responded by suspending Montano without pay on Sunday, December 8 and have now confirmed his contract with them has been terminated.

A statement on the club's website, issued through CM Solicitors, said: "After a thorough investigation carried out by Oldham Athletic Football Club relating to the conduct of Cristian Montano and following lengthy discussions with our team of legal advisers at CM Solicitors, a decision has been made by the club board to dismiss the player forthwith.

"Notwithstanding and without prejudice to the ongoing criminal investigation, it is our view that the player's conduct, in not only bringing the name of Oldham Athletic but also the football authorities into disrepute, amounts to very serious breaches of club discipline, and therefore constitutes gross misconduct.

"Oldham Athletic take matters such as this extremely seriously and believe it was essential to act as swiftly as possible in conjunction with our legal advisers to investigate and deal with this matter decisively once they became aware of the allegations and irrespective of any other investigations and proceedings by other agencies."

Montano, born in Colombia, is a former West Ham trainee who spent time on loan with Notts County, Swindon, Dagenham and Oxford prior to his arrival at Boundary Park in August 2012.

Speaking a week ago after the allegations first appeared, Oldham boss Lee Johnson said anyone who read the newspaper report would have been "devastated and sick to their stomachs".

Last week Blackburn announced that striker DJ Campbell, another of the half a dozen players who has been bailed until April, had been given time off by the club to spend with his family.

Speaking at the time, boss Gary Bowyer said of the spot-fixing investigations: "It has shocked everybody. Everybody in the game has talked about it, it's something that shouldn't be in the game but the proper people are going to deal with it."

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