BREAKING NEWS: Ivan Toney gives a six-word response after FA statement

BREAKING NEWS: Ivan Toney gives a six-word response to the FA’s written reasons for his eight-month ban over betting which revealed his diagnosis as a gambling addict

Ivan Toney has posted a six-word response in the wake of the FA’s written reasons on Friday, which outlined the reasons behind his eight-month ban for betting breaches.

The Brentford and England striker, who was handed the lengthy suspension after pleading guilty to 232 charges, tweeted: ‘I’ll speak soon with no filter’.

The FA revealed in Friday’s report that Toney had been diagnosed a gambling addict after betting on his own club to lose 13 times, with 11 of those bets being made against his parent club Newcastle between August 2017 and March 2018 while on loan at Wigan.

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. 

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.

‘I’ll speak soon with no filter’: Brentford star Ivan Toney gave a six-word response after the FA published the reasons behind his eight-month ban for breaching their betting rules on Friday 

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

In a section of the FA’s written reasons, the governing body revealed that Toney has a ‘clear history of gambling addiction’, according to a psychiatric expert.

It read: ‘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. 

The FA revealed that he placed 13 bets on his own team between August 2017 and March 2018 

‘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.

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.

England boss Gareth Southgate raised concerns over Toney’s lengthy ban, questioning the decision to leave him isolated and alone for such a long period of time.

Southgate urged that he will be there to support the striker, who starred against Ukraine in March, fearing that a summer away from Brentford training could seriously damage his mental health. 

‘I have spoken with (Toney),’ he said on Tuesday after announcing England’s squad to face Malta and North Macedonia next month. ‘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.’

Gareth Southgate insisted he will be there to support the striker during his lengthy suspension

Toney made his England debut versus Ukraine in March and will hope to regain his spot in 2023

While Toney was brief in his response, Brentford reacted by issuing a lengthier statement on their website.

The club said: ‘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.’

More to follow. 

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