Former Premier League footballer Delroy Facey has been jailed for two-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery.

The 35-year-old, who played for Bolton Wanderers in England's top flight, was arrested along with five others by police investigating corruption in League 2 and the Conference South.

The ex-footballer, who also played for West Bromwich Albion and Hull City, approached more than six players in the lower leagues using messaging service WhatsApp, offering them "easy money" to influence matches.

In one exchange with a player at Manchester team Hyde FC, which was read out in court, Facey offered a £2,000 bribe.

"You lot get rinsed [beaten] out, week in, week out. You lot should make some money out of this lad, easy money," he wrote.

"Check this out. Four goals in a game – two in either half – and you guys can get 2k each, win lose or draw. You guys can't win for s*** so you may as well make some peas."

A betting syndicate was to place bets on matches Facey had helped fix. However, no corrupt games took place. A fellow conspirator was convicted at an earlier trial.

The court heard Facey was declared bankrupt in 2008 and lost his home to repossession, as his earnings declined with his footballing career. Co-defendant Moses Swaibu, a lower league player, was convicted alongside Facey.