Brentford have vowed to stand by Ivan Toney and “do everything possible” to help him through a gambling addiction, after the FA this morning published the full written reasons for the England striker’s eight-month ban.
Among the most serious charges, the commission found Toney made 13 bets on his own club to lose in seven different matches between August 2017 and March 2018, although he did not play in any of the games.
Of these bets, 11 were on Newcastle to lose while he was on loan from the Magpies and two were on his then-loan club Wigan to lose, although he did not feature in either game.
As a result, the commission was confident the case was “not one of match-fixing”, with the written reasons adding: “If it was [match-fixing], 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.”
Toney also placed 16 bets on his own team to win 15 different matches, and played in 11 of the games and was an unused substitute in another.
In addition, the 27-year-old also placed 15 bets on himself to score in nine different matches, all of which he played in, with the bets placed at a time when it was not public knowledge he would be in the team.
Toney’s sanction was reduced by three months because the commission acknowledged that he was diagnosed with a gambling addition, and also took into account his relative youth at the time of the offences, his good conduct off the field and remorse at his actions.
The commission said Toney had admitted repeatedly lying during his initial interviews with the FA.
It also revealed he had since stopped gambling on football but not on other sports and is “determined to address his gambling problem with therapy”.
The document read: “The commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by [psychiatrist] Dr [Philip] Hopley. The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction.”
Under the terms of the ban, Toney is not allowed to train with his club for the first four month of his sanction and, therefore, is due back at Brentford in mid-September.
Brentford said in a statement this morning: “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. Conversations regarding this and all matters relating to the case will remain confidential in order to protect the player and his family.
“We consider this matter closed and look forward to welcoming Ivan back to training in September and seeing him representing Brentford in the Premier League in January.”
The document revealed the FA urged the commission to delay Toney’s ban until the start of next season, which would have all but ended his chances of playing in the European Championship.
The commission added that Toney would have been banned for 15 months if he had not admitted the 232 charges.
Gareth Southgate, the England manager, this week criticised the terms of Toney’s ban and said the forward “without a doubt” could still make the squad for the Euro 2024.
“What bothers me is we’ve got to look after people,” said Southgate, who handed Toney his England debut in March.
“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 would work.”