Joey Barton Suspended from Football for 18 Months After Admitting Betting Charge

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15:  Joey Barton of Burnley takes a look around the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Everton and Burnley at Goodison Park on April 15, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been suspended from football and "all football activity" for 18 months by the FA.

He admitted an FA misconduct charge after it was "alleged that between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, he placed 1,260 bets on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, football matches or competitions in breach of FA Rule E8."

Barton, 34, has also been fined £30,000.

Barton released a statement on his website in which he revealed he would appeal against the length of the ban.

He wrote: "I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction. 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 also published a table of "the 30 most pertinent bets as determined by the FA," which included him backing his own team to lose, though only when he was not involved in the relevant matches, per ESPN's Alex Shaw:

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

Just seen that Barton bet on his own team to lose and now that's made me change my opinion.

The former Manchester City, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers player felt his chequered past and profile as a troublemaker meant he received a more severe punishment than would have been meted out to others.

"I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players," he added in his statement. 

The Telegraph's Ali Tweedale compared the length of Barton's ban to suspensions for other controversial incidents in the past:

Ali Tweedale @alitweedale

Just doesn't add up. Actually feel a bit sorry for Joey Barton

With the ban set to take immediate effect, and assuming his appeal is unsuccessful, Barton will not be able to return to football until October of the 2018-19 season. 

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