Leeds United say they're 'hugely disappointed' in the FA's decision to ban midfielder Jordan Stevens for six weeks over a betting rule breach.
The 19-year-old accepted a charge over 59 bets, 23 of which involved competitions contested by Leeds United and five of which involved Whites fixtures.
He was handed a six week suspension from all football activities and a £1,200 fine - more than double the amount he spent on his bets.
In a statement, Leeds vowed to support the teenagers and expressed dismay at the scale of his punishment.
"We acknowledge the sanctions passed down by the FA to Jordan Stevens following a breach of betting regulations," said a spokesperson.
"We will support Jordan through this process, he is a young footballer who needs educating on the dangers of outside influences and how to conduct himself as a professional footballer.
"As a club we feel that banning a 19-year-old footballer from even participating in training or interacting with the club’s staff is an excessive punishment."
Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear called it a 'disproportionate' punishment from the independent regulatory commission who presided over the case.
The commission included former Blackburn winger Stuart Ripley and ex Fulham midfielder Udo Onwere.
“Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FA's role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FA's choice of sanction," he said.
“To prevent a young footballer from taking part in any football activities at such critical period of his career is a disproportionate punishment following a foolish mistake from a young player.
“We are particularly disappointed that the sanction was determined by two former professional footballers who we hoped would have had a better understanding of the impact of their decision.”