FA Have Revealed The Reasons Behind Ivan Toney's Eight-month Suspension

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.

In the FA's bombshell written reasons, 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.

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. 

A section of the FA's report on Friday read as cited by Sports Central: '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. '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 advised to seek professional help.

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. 

He added: '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. 

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 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.

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.

He said: 'I have spoken with (Toney). '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.

Frank said prior to the FA's report on Friday:'I've been in contact with him. He's disappointed and sad about the situation. '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.'