Tuesday 24 October 2017

Joey Barton statement on betting ban: Key points

Joey Barton has criticised football's links to the gambling industry, including through sponsorship
Joey Barton has criticised football's links to the gambling industry, including through sponsorship

Joey Barton has released a detailed statement after being hit with an 18-match ban by the Football Association for betting misconduct.

Here, Press Association Sport picks out five key points contained in his near 1,500-word response.

1. Barton says the ban effectively forces him "i nto an early retirement from playing football". The 34-year-old midfielder adds, though, that he "will be appealing against the length of the ban", which he labels excessive.

2. Barton reveals he has "fought addiction to gambling", making more than 15,000 bets across a range of sports on his Betfair account. He says just over 1,200 were placed on football, while the average bet was just over £150. He said: " Betting for me is less about how much money I win or lose, and more about whether I can correctly predict the outcome of the game I'm watching." He says he "provided the FA with a medical report" about the problem and is "disappointed it wasn't taken into proper consideration".

3. Barton has fierce criticism for the FA over its links to the gambling industry, saying it makes trying to fight an addiction to betting " like asking a recovering alcoholic to spend all his time in a pub or a brewery". He said: " If the FA is serious about tackling gambling I would urge it to reconsider its own dependence on the gambling industry. I say that knowing that every time I pull on my team's shirt, I am advertising a betting company." Burnley's shirts are sponsored by Dafabet.

4. Barton reveals he placed a "handful of bets" on his own team to lose matches between 2004 and 2011. He says that he was not involved in the matchday squad on any of those occasions, adding: "I should add that on some of those occasions, my placing of the bet on my own team to lose was an expression of my anger and frustration at not being picked or being unable to play." He provides a list of 15 such bets, involving five Newcastle games including a reserve match against Arsenal and a bet he won on Manchester City to lose to West Ham in 2006.

5. Barton says he has never placed a bet against his own team when able to influence the outcome. He said: " The Commission that heard my case made clear in their reasons on a number of occasions that 'there was no suggestion [I] was involved in match fixing'."

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