Joey Barton served 18-month ban by the FA

It is alleged he placed 1,260 bets between 2006 and 2016

Joey Barton

Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been banned from all football activity for 18 months after admitting an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting.

Barton is alleged to have placed 1,260 bets on "the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, football matches or competitions between 26 March, 2006 and 13 May, 2016."

These actions are in breach of FA Rule E8. The resulting ban will come into effect immediately.

"I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction," Barton said in a lengthy statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. 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."

He continues: "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."

Barton also pointed out that he made it clear to the FA that he 'fought a gambling addiction', admitting he was "disappointed it wasn’t taken into proper consideration."

He also responds to the charge by highlighting the culture of gambling in modern football.

"I think if the FA is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football, it needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies, their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet."

In a statement released by Burnley FC, the club say that the 34-year-old plans to "appeal the length of this suspension."

They did add, however: "Following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, the Burnley midfielder was also fined £30,000 and warned as to his future conduct."

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