Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has been handed an 18 month ban from football after admitting a FA charge in relation to betting.
The Burnley midfielder has been found guilty of placing a series of bets between 2006 and 2016, being fined £30,000 and given a lengthy suspension that will come into immediate effect.
It has been found that Barton placed a staggering 1,260 bets during a 10 year spell, being found to have made bets against Newcastle while he was at the club.
Biggest of Joey Barton's bets against NUFC while at club was £500 on Chelsea to win at SJP in Nov, 2010. It was 1-1. He was not in the squad
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) April 26, 2017
Barton believes it to be a ‘harsh’ penalty and has had his say on the matter, admitting it may end his football career:
“The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football.
“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.
The 34 year-old then went on to discuss gambling in the game and his plan to appeal:
“I am not alone in football in having a problem with gambling.
“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.”
Finally, Joey insisted that he was involved in no form match fixing, but did admit to betting on or against his own team when he wasn’t involved:
“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 have placed over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports. Just over 1,200 were placed on football and subject to the charges against me. The average bet was just over £150, many were for only a few pounds.”
Joey really should have known better. With the midfielder turning 35 in September and facing an 18 month ban, could this be the last we see of the former Newcastle man?