Brentford vow to support Ivan Toney after banned footballer is diagnosed as a gambling addict

‘We consider this matter closed’: Brentford vow to support Ivan Toney as the banned striker is diagnosed as a gambling addict, as the full reasons behind his eight-month ban are revealed

Brentford have voiced their support for Ivan Toney after the striker was diagnosed as a gambling addict on Friday as the reasons behind his eight-month ban from football were revealed by the FA. 

The Brentford forward, who has received backing from England boss Gareth Southgate, pleaded guilty to 232 of the 262 betting charges brought by the FA last year, with the final outcome – a £50,000 fine and an eight-month ban – dished out earlier in the month. 

The governing body withdrew the remaining 30 charges, but regardless Toney is banned until January 16 next year and he can’t even train with Brentford until September. The ban is longer than was initially expected, but it reflects the severity of the situation. 

In Friday’s FA bombshell it is revealed that Toney placed over a dozen bets on his own team during a period of seven months between 2017 and 2018. He also punted on himself to score on multiple occasions.

Toney also once informed a friend that he would start his club’s next match, although the circumstances surrounding the breach are unclear. It was also stated in the FA’s report that Toney did not play in any of the matches where he bet against his parent club, Newcastle, while on loan at Wigan.

Brentford quickly reacted to the FA report, insisting they consider the matter closed and that they will continue to support the forward.  

A Brentford statement read: ‘Brentford FC has received and accepted the written reasons of an independent Regulatory Commission that handed Ivan Toney an eight-month ban from all football and football-related activity after he admitted breaches of FA Rule E8, relating to placing bets on football.

‘The judgement has been published on the FA website. Ivan and Brentford FC accept that offences were committed, and sanctions were inevitable.

‘The commission noted that none of the charges related to events where Ivan could negatively impact his own team. The detail is included in the written reasons.

‘The document reads: “The present case is not one of match-fixing. If it was, the charges would have been pursued under different provisions. There is no evidence that Mr Toney did or was even in a position to influence his own team to lose when he placed bets against them winning – he was not in the squad or eligible to play at the time.”

‘The document continues: “The commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by [psychiatrist] Dr [Philip] Hopley. The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction.”

‘The club will now be doing everything possible to provide support to Ivan and his family to deal with the issues raised in this case. Conversations regarding this and all matters relating to the case will remain confidential in order to protect the player and his family.

‘We consider this matter closed and look forward to welcoming Ivan back to training in September and seeing him representing Brentford in the Premier League in January.’

More to follow…