Why Ivan Toney was handed a reduced ban in betting saga

Brentford striker Ivan Toney | Imago

PREMIER LEAGUE Why Ivan Toney was handed a reduced ban in betting saga

Mark Kinyanjui 13:16 - 27.05.2023

The England international was given a reduced eight-month ban from all football related activities, with the initial punishment being 15 months.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been diagnosed with a gambling addiction which provided “significant mitigation” in allowing the England international a reduced ban from football.

Toney, 27, was handed an eight-month ban from the sport by an independent regulatory commission earlier this month, having admitted to 232 breaches of FA rules on betting.

The details of Toney’s case were published on Friday and showed that the FA had initially asked for a 15-month ban for the talented striker that would have started at the beginning of the 2023-24 season, which the independent commission reduced to eight in light of pleading guilty and his medically diagnosed gambling addiction.

The striker took to Twitter after the written reasons were released to say: “I’ll speak soon with no filter.”

Toney placed 29 bets, or instructed bets to be placed, on clubs he was registered with between February 2017 and January 2021.

There were 16 bets on Toney’s team to win in 15 matches, of which he played 11. There were 13 bets on his team to lose in 11 matches. Of those 13, 11 were against Newcastle United while he was out on loan at other clubs. The other two came when Toney was on loan at Wigan Athletic and they played Aston Villa, but he was not in the squad.

The commission, therefore, concluded that Toney’s case was “not one of match-fixing”.

Toney also placed 15 bets on himself to score across nine matches.

The commission said that, in Toney’s case, “there is gambling addiction which provides significant mitigation”.

But it concluded that, although it was claimed that Toney “did not properly appreciate the rules (on gambling) until after he registered with Brentford (in 2020)”, he was in fact aware from 2017 that betting on football was prohibited by the FA.

Toney also claimed that he bet through third parties in order to conceal his gambling from his parents, rather than the FA. The commission rejected this claim.

Dr Philip Hopley, a consultant psychiatrist , submitted a report in February that found Toney had a “clear history of gambling addiction” after twice interviewing him. Hopley concluded that Toney needed professional help to deal with his addiction.

Hopley’s report led the commission to conclude that “the lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling 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.”

Toney’s eight-month ban from football ends on January 16, 2024 but he is allowed to return to training in September.

Brentford also issued a statement upon the release of the commission’s report, stating that they consider the matter closed.

The Premier League side added that they “will now be doing everything possible to provide support to Ivan and his family to deal with the issues raised in this case”.