Ivan Toney was diagnosed as a gambling addict who bet on his own clubs to lose 13 times before being handed an eight-month ban from football by the Football Association, it has been revealed.
Brentford and England striker Toney, 27, also admitted to lying to the FA about betting on football and providing inside information to a friend on when he was starting a game.
Toney – who has faced the wrath of Newcastle fans following the FA’s reasoning – gave a six-word response on Friday, vowing to give his real thoughts soon with ‘no filter’.
In the FA’s bombshell written report, published today, it is revealed that Toney:
- Placed 13 bets on his own team between August 2017 and March 2018, with 11 of those made against Newcastle, his parent club, while on loan at Wigan
- Informed a friend that he would start his next club’s match in March 2018
- Used other people’s accounts to place bets despite initially denying the allegations
- Admitted to lying during his first interview with the FA when questioned about the gambling charges
- Suspected of having a separate mobile phone to place bets, which he did not hand to the FA during their investigation.
- Still bets on other sports and casino games and is ‘determined to address his gambling problem with therapy’ during the ban
The governing body were on the verge of handing Toney a 15-month ban due to the nature of the breaches, but cut the suspension by almost half because he pleaded guilty and was diagnosed with a gambling addiction by a psychiatric expert.
The reasons behind Ivan Toney’s eight-month ban from football have been revealed by the FA
The striker was diagnosed as a gambling addict after he bet on his own team to lose 13 times
Toney (pictured left, shopping, and right, playing for Brentford) admitted to lying during his first interview testimony to the FA
It was also stated that Toney did not play in any of the matches where he bet against his parent club.
A section of the FA’s report on Friday read: ‘Of those 29 bets, there were 13 bets on Mr Toney’s own team to lose in 7 different matches between 22 August 2017 and 3 March 2018.
Mail Sport’s OLIVER HOLT broke the news on Toney’s football ban in the Mail on Sunday (above) this month, while MATT HUGHES was first to break the striker’s guilty plea (bottom)
‘Mr Toney did not play in any of those matches where he placed bets against his loan club as he was not in the match squad or against his parent club as he was on loan.
‘Of the 13 bets 11 were against Newcastle whilst Mr Toney was on loan at another club.
‘The other 2 bets related to a game between Wigan v Aston Villa whilst the player was on loan at Wigan but he was not part of the squad.
‘A further 15 of the 126 bets or instructions to bet were placed by Mr Toney to score in 9 different matches all of which he played in.
‘All of those 15 bets or instructions to bet were initiated by Mr Toney at a time when it would not have been public knowledge that he was starting or playing in the fixture.’
The FA went on to reveal that Toney has now been diagnosed with a gambling addiction and has been advised to seek professional help.
The 27-year-old forward was issued with a £50,000 fine by English football’s governing body
Toney’s ban is one of the longest in football history, equal to that of Rio Ferdinand back in 2003
‘The Commission had the benefit of a report from Dr Philip Hopley dated 2 February 2023 who also attended the hearing by video conference to answer questions.
‘Dr Hopley had interviewed Mr Toney on two occasions and concluded in his report that Mr Toney has a clear history of gambling addiction.
‘There is no need to set out the details of the report in these reasons. It was Dr Hopley’s conclusion that Mr Toney needs professional help in respect of his addiction.
‘The position appears to be that Mr Toney has ceased gambling on football although he still gambles on other sports and casino games. He is determined to address his gambling problem with therapy at the conclusion of this season’
Mail Sport revealed in February that Toney had pleaded guilty to the majority of the 262 betting charges brought by the FA last year, with an independent disciplinary commission imposing an eight-month suspension and £50,000 fine following a hearing this month.
The ban will prevent Toney from playing until January 16 next year, reflecting both the number of breaches and the fact that the bets were placed over an extended four-year period between February 2017 and January 2021.
Toney, pictured while making his England debut against Ukraine in March, received Gareth Southgate’s backing on Tuesday as the Three Lions boss announced his squad for June
He was first charged on November 16 but it was another six months until the case was resolved
Toney (centre, left) poses with his cousin Nathan Hicks (right) in a picture on Twitter in 2013
The striker will not even be permitted to train with Brentford until September, leaving him with no option but to work out on his own in order to stay fit.
Toney’s older cousin Nathan Hicks, who previously starred for Leicester alongside the England international, has also faced multiple FA charges for betting offences.
Nathan Hicks: Toney’s cousin who faced FA charges for betting breaches in 2017
Ivan Toney’s older cousin, Nathan Hicks, is a lower-league footballer that has also fallen foul of the FA’s betting rules.
Hicks, who was once on the books of Leicester City as a youngster alongside Toney, has faced multiple FA charges for betting offences.
On June 13, 2017 under FA Rule E1(b), Hicks was charged with 162 bets placed on football matches between December 8, 2014 and January 29, 2017.
Hicks admitted to the charge. Evidence showed that in that time period there were 18 bets which included games in competitions that Hicks’s clubs participated in during the relevant seasons.
The aforementioned 18 bets involved 10 National League Premier games – when he was at Alfreton Town FC – 16 FA Cup games, one Southern League Premier game and two FA Trophy cup games – all while at Kettering Town FC.
An FA investigation found his stake on those bets was £700.63 and he suffered a net loss of -£12.97.
During the time period from December 8, 2014 to January 29, 2017, it was determined he had staked £4,940.26 on betting on football matches. He was fined £500 for his breaches.
Furthermore, in January of this year Hicks was handed a new charge for placing 2,753 bets on football matches between March 12, 2017 to November 22, 2022.
The non-league footballer was first hit with a betting breach of FA Rule E8 in January of this year and he admitted to the charge in March 2023, before requesting a personal hearing.
Hicks, who counts Alfreton Town, Biggleswade Town, Corby Town, Histon, Kettering Town, and St Ives Town among his former teams, is cited as ‘Person B’ in the written reasons behind Toney’s ban, claiming the Brentford striker was aware about the betting rules due to his cousin’s breaches.
Away from football Hicks, 32, has worked in recruitment in Northampton.
The Bees hitman admitted that he was aware of his cousin’s charges in 2017.
Brentford responded to the FA’s ruling with a statement of their own on Friday.
It 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.’
England boss Gareth Southgate questioned the length of the ban as he announced his squad to face Malta and North Macedonia on Tuesday, fearing the Brentford striker could be deserted during his suspension.
Southgate contested the terms of the punishment set by his employers, with Toney unable to train with Brentford until September.
‘I have spoken with (Toney),’ he said.
‘I don’t know if that’s allowed, by the way. If it isn’t then they can ban me and not add to his ban.
‘Look, the ban is the ban. It is what it is. He recognised and accepted the punishment. What bothers me is we’ve got to look after people.
‘He’s injured at the moment. What does he do about getting fit? How do we give him some structure over the next few months that he can develop himself or be a better person at the end of it, or have experiences that he might not experience?
‘I don’t like the idea that we just leave somebody so they are not allowed to be a part of the football community.
‘I don’t think that’s how we should work, I don’t think that’s how the best rehabilitation programmes work.’
On whether Toney could still be named in his squad for Euro 2024 next summer, Southgate added: ‘Without a doubt, it is possible for him.
‘It is not ideal because he is going to miss a large chunk of the season and you don’t know after that sort of period out how physically he is going to adapt and how he is going to play.
‘But it is possible for him, there will still be time and he has impressed us with the way he’s played.
‘I like his personality, I like his belief and the way he goes about his job, so everything is still possible for him.’
Meanwhile, Brentford boss Thomas Frank indicated last week that Toney will still have a future at the Gtech Stadium.
Southgate (left) has extended an olive branch to Toney and said he had spoken to him
Thomas Frank reassured Toney that his future is at Brentford despite the striker’s lengthy ban
‘I’ve been in contact with him. He’s disappointed and sad about the situation,’ said Frank, prior to the FA’s report on Friday. ‘His future is with Brentford, there’s no doubt about that.
‘We are waiting for the information so we know what we can do. What he’s allowed to do, especially for the first four months.
‘One thing is for sure, we will do everything to be there for him, support him and be aware of the mental health in it.
‘He’s made some mistakes, but we need to be there, and want to be there, for him and help him. We just need to know what we are allowed to do.’