Ivan Toney bet on his own team to lose 13 times and has been diagnosed as a gambling addict after the Football Association revealed its full written reasons for the Brentford striker’s eight-month ban from football.
The 27-year-old was charged with 262 breaches of the FA’s betting rules between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021 before the FA withdrew 30 of the breaches, and he admitted to the remaining 232. That led to a £50,000 fine and an eight-month ban from football, which started last week and runs until January 2024, although he can resume training in September.
Now the full written reasons have been released as a report by the FA, revealing that Toney bet on both Newcastle and Wigan to lose games while he was on loan at the latter from the former in the 2017-18 season, although not games in which he was playing.
The report said: 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.”
Toney admitted to lying to the FA about betting on football and providing inside information to a friend on when he was starting a game, while he also bet on himself to score in a number of matches when it wasn’t widely known that he would be in the starting line-up.
“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,” said the report.
“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.”
Toney was going to be handed a 15-month ban for his breaches but the suspension was ultimately cut to eight months because he pleaded guilty and was diagnosed with a gambling addiction.
Psychiatrist Dr Philip Hopley attended Toney’s personal hearing and diagnosed the England international with the addiction.
“The commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by Dr Hopley,” the report explained. “The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction.
“The present case is not one of match-fixing. If it was, the charges would have been pursued under different provisions.
“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.”
Additional reporting by PA