FA explain Joey Barton ban length in written reasons

Burnley midfielder has been suspended for 18 months

BY Raf Diallo 18:09 Thursday 27 April 2017, 18:09 27 Apr 2017

Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

The English Football Association says Joey Barton's 18 month suspension for breaking betting rules was the shortest they could have given him.

In its written reasons for banning the Burnley midfielder, the FA acknowledges a "gambling addiction".

Barton made a loss staking £200,000 over a 10 year period.

Despite mitigating factors, the FA says he was dismissive of rules preventing footballers from betting on their own sport.

"Balancing all of the matters summarised above, the evidence heard and read and the arguments the Commission considered, the Commission concluded that the shortest possible sanction to reflect the totality of his betting breaches was a suspension from football and footballing activity for a period of 18 months. In doing so it had regard to the Scottish ban," said the FA in their written reasons.

"The Commission considered the reason advanced on the Player’s behalf. They do not justify suspending any part of the sporting sanction. The totality of the offending is so serious as to merit an immediate suspension of the length determined.

"As for his age, and the fact he is coming towards the end of his career, the Commission makes these points. He has enjoyed a full career. He has been breaching the betting Rules for a substantial part of that career. Had he been apprehended and charged earlier, the result - almost certainly – would have been an immediate playing suspension (and all the consequences) . He has avoided that and enjoyed the fruits. He cannot now pray in aid chronology to avoid a meaningful sanction. Further, a younger player charged earlier in their career might well have a legitimate sense of grievance if s/he loses part of their career to suspension, but an older player (by virtue of that fact alone) does not. In the Commission’s judgement, the suspension must lie where it falls."

Read the full details and written reasons here.

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