AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite has said it is “very sad” that a trusted employee defrauded the football club of £250k – which was spent on lavish gifts for a glamour webcam model, the Lancashire Post report.

Former accounts assistant Andrew Barnbrook, 37, pleaded guilty at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court to fraud, however the club has revealed it has given up hope of reclaiming any of the money it lost. The court was told he transferred club funds to a personal bank account, spending it on online gambling and the model from Manchester, who charges £8 a minute for online sessions.

It was heard Barnbrook, of Red Bank Road, Bispham, also met the woman face to face and splashed the cash on expensive gifts for her.

Following the hearing, Mr Haythornthwaite said: “It is a very sad situation in many ways. I have built a business up from one employee in 1998 to over 300 worldwide today.

“Along the way you trust people to do certain things and follow certain processes. This case exposed the flaws in our systems that allowed Mr Barnbrook to take so much money without being challenged.

“It was a big wake up call for us and unfortunately there were some internal casualties as a result of his actions.”

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