LONDON: Six players of third tier Preston North End are reportedly among seven players arrested in connection with a police inquiry into spot-fixing both this and last season.

Club captain John Welsh and team-mates 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.

Davies and Cummins are currently playing on loan at York City and Rochdale, both in theĀ fourth division [League Two].

Stephen Dawson, midfielder with Championship club Barnsley, has also been arrested and bailed.

A Preston statement 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.”

NCA inquiry

Barnsley said the club had been made 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”.

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 April 8.

In December third tier club Oldham Athletic sacked winger Cristian Montano following the spot-fixing investigation.