Ivan Toney placed 13 historical bets on his own club to lose and has been diagnosed with a gambling addiction, as the written reasons for his eight-month ban were revealed by the FA..
In its written reasons explaining its sanction, published on Friday, the commission said Toney had admitted repeatedly lying during his initial interviews with the FA.
It added he had since ceased gambling on football, though not on other sports, and is “determined to address his gambling problem with therapy”.
The FA initially wanted to impose a 15-month ban on Toney because he attempted to conceal his betting, knowing it was against FA rules.
This included betting through third parties and deleting relevant messages from his mobile phone, it said, then knowingly giving “clearly false answers” during his interviews with the FA.
The commission did not uphold all of the FA’s claims.
His ban was reduced to 11 months given he pleaded guilty to all 232 charges before being further reduced to reflect his diagnosed addiction.
Psychiatrist Dr Philip Hopley twice interviewed Toney before his diagnosis and the commission said his evidence was “well reasoned and highly persuasive”.
Brentford have said they will support Toney with his 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,” they said in a statement.
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“We consider this matter closed and look forward to welcoming Ivan back to training in September.”
What were the charges?
- 126 bets were in matches in a competition in which Toney’s club had participated in or were eligible to participate in that season.
- Of those 126 bets, 29 bets involved clubs Toney was registered with or on loan with at the time.
- 16 of those 29 bets were on Toney’s team to win 15 different matches – and Toney played in 11 of these games and was an unused substitute in another.
- 13 bets of the 29 bets were on Toney’s own team to lose in seven different matches between August 22, 2017 and March 3, 2018 – but Toney did not play in any of those matches
- 11 of the 13 bets were against Newcastle while Toney was on loan at another club.
- The other two bets related to a game between Wigan vs Aston Villa while Toney was on loan at Wigan but he was not part of the squad.
- There was also a breach of FA Rule E8.2 on insider information when on March 29, 2018 Toney told a friend he would be starting in his club’s next match. Toney argued it was widely known he was likely to play but accepted it as a breach of the rules.
- Toney admitted lying to investigators on more than one occasion after he initially denied he had bet on football.
The regulatory commission ruled Toney’s case was not one of match-fixing.
“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.”
As part of his punishment Toney was also fined £50,000 and warned about his future conduct.
His suspension started immediately, but he can return to training with Brentford four months before it ends on 17 September. He will not be allowed to play again until 17 January 2024.
He scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances this season and made his England debut as a substitute in the Euro 2024 qualifying win against Ukraine in March, having received his first call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad last September.
Southgate said it was important to support Toney during his ban, adding it “won’t have any bearing” on his international prospects when it ends.