Stoke hope Jerome will escape ban

Stoke City are hopeful that striker Cameron Jerome will escape a ban despite admitting Football Association charges relating to breaches of the betting rules.

Jerome, 26, faces a hearing after the revelation on Monday that he had infringed the game's strict gambling regulations.

In a statement, the FA said the allegations against Jerome were "in relation to a number of betting offences", although there is no suggestion they concerned matches in which he was playing.

Stoke said they would be supporting their player at the hearing, for which no date has yet been arranged.

Suggestions have emerged from the Potteries that Jones's offences are at the lower end of the scale and not as serious as those that saw Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend banned for four months, three-quarters of that term suspended, and fined £18,000 earlier this summer.

Stoke are hoping the punishment might be no more than a fine, while the player will hope his guilty plea is reflected by a lesser penalty.

Bryan Shaw, the chairman of the Stoke branch of the Stoke City Supporters' Club, was quoted in the Sentinel as saying: "I was shocked and surprised by the news because I certainly hadn't heard of Jerome being a gambler.

"It's difficult to say too much without knowing the full facts, but I am worried what is going to happen to him because he is one of the few forwards we've got who can score goals."