Star Brentford striker Ivan Toney was suspended from all football and football-related activities for eight months for breaching the English Football Association’s rules on betting, the FA announced Wednesday. He was also fined £50,000 (about $62,500) and warned about future rules violations.
Between Feb. 25, 2017 and Jan. 23, 2021, Toney admitted to the FA that he was responsible for 232 of the 262 gambling breaches he was charged with. During that period, Toney played in the second-division EFL Championship and third-tier League One with Brentford, Peterborough United, Wigan Athletic, and Scunthorpe United.
The specific breaches in question have not yet been disclosed or reported by any party, but even at this early stage, the number of violations alone reads staggeringly.
The 27-year-old had a breakout season for the Bees this season, sitting in the Premier League with 20 goals scored as of this writing, helping Brentford to an impressive ninth in the table with two games to play. He just finished the third year of a club-friendly five-year, £5.46 million contract and has even been capped twice by the England national team in UEFA Nations League play.
Notably, Brentford’s kit sponsor this season is Hollywoodbets, a South Africa-based gambling brand and sportsbook. Last month, Premier League clubs voted to ban betting companies from sponsoring the front of team shirts in the future, though sleeve sponsorships and LED pitchside advertising will still be permitted.
Toney had received interest from top clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal in a transfer deal Brentford manager Thomas Frank previously suggested could approach £100 million. Now, he’ll no longer be able to train with his club — or any other under the auspices of the Football Association — until September, and can’t play until next January under FA rules.
“Brentford FC is currently awaiting the publication of the written reasons of the independent Regulatory Commission,” the club said in a statement. “We will review them before considering our next steps.”
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