Joey Barton banned from football for 18 months

Joey Barton spent the first half of this season at Rangers. Picture: John Devlin
Joey Barton spent the first half of this season at Rangers. Picture: John Devlin
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Joey Barton has been suspended from all football activity for 18 months after admitting a misconduct charge relating to betting, the Football Association has announced.

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It was alleged that over a ten-year period between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, Barton placed 1,260 bets on the football matches or competitions, which is a breach of FA Rule E8.

Following the a hearing by the Independent Regulatory Commission, the Burnley midfielder was also fined £30,000 and warned as to his future conduct.

The 34-year-old midfielder started his career with Manchester City and has played for Newcastle, QPR, Marseille and Rangers. He also has one full England cap.

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Barton joined Rangers last summer but left in November after a club-imposed suspension following a training ground bust-up with then-manager Mark Warburton.

He rejoined Burnley at the beginning of the January transfer window.

Barton released a statement on his website, saying: “I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction. The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football.

“To be clear from the outset here this is not match fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question.

“I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players.

“I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem. I’m disappointed it wasn’t taken into proper consideration.

Barton goes on to state that on every occasion when he bet on his own side to lose, he wasn’t playing in the match.

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He continues: A ban of 18 months is longer than several bans handed to players who played in matches where they bet for their team to lose and – unlike me – were found to have had an ability to influence the games.

“The only players to be banned for 12 months or longer bet against their own teams and played in the matches in which they placed those bets.

“Players who did not play in the matches they placed the bets in have never been banned for longer than 6 months. I feel the ban is excessive in this context.

“Having consulted with my friends and lawyers, I have decided I will be appealing against the length of the ban.

“I hope that I shall be afforded a fair hearing by an independent Appeal Panel. If I am, we are confident that the sanction will be reduced to a fair one that both reflects the offences as well as the mitigating factors and the fact that there was nothing untoward or suspicious about the bets I made.”

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