Former Wales international Mark Aizlewood 58, and Paul Sugrue, 56 – whose past clubs include Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Cardiff City – were jailed at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
The two ex-professional footballers were sentenced for scamming millions from schools and colleges through a bogus sports leadership scheme.
Aizlewood was sentenced to six years and Sugrue was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Judge David Tomlinson said: “There was a serious detrimental effect on colleges of further education.”
He said it involved “eye watering sums of Government money” under the pretext of helping disadvantaged people, adding: “This was quite simply shameful exploitation.”
Aizlewood, who played for clubs including Leeds United and Charlton Athletic, was Ian Rush’s assistant at the Deva Stadium during Chester’s 2004/2005 campaign – their first back in the Football League.
But after a poor run of results, Aizlewood was sacked towards the end of the season without Rush’s knowledge, with Rush resigning soon after.
– The Chester Story.