The Football Association have released the full written reasons behind Joey Barton’s ban, with the FA Regulatory Commission declaring his 18-month suspension the “shortest possible sanction” they could give.
The Burnley midfielder accepted an FA charge in February and requested a personal hearing, having placed 1,260 bets over a period of 10 years.
On Wednesday, the FA handed down their judgement, issuing an 18-month ban and £30,000 fine to the 34-year-old.
Barton has subsequently appealed, believing the sanction to be “excessive” and admitting that if it is not reduced, his career is effectively over.
Now the FA have revealed the full written reasons behind Barton’s sanction, having seen the player place “42 bets in 20 matches involving teams he was registered with at the time of making the bets”.
It is also stated that the FA had warned Barton – back in January 2012 – over tweets posted from his twitter account regarding betting on that month’s Manchester derby.
Barton was also detailed to have backed his own team to lose, which carries a six month to life ban; one of the determining factors there is whether the player did or did not play and the Commission noted that Barton never played in a match where he backed his team to lose.
In summary, “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.”
Additionally, they added: “His addiction may have distorted his thinking in part, but it is not a compete answer for this continued conduct.
Regarding the fact that, given his age, an 18-month ban could be the death knell for Barton’s career, the Commission declared: “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.”
Barton’s Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes that the player’s 18-month ban is harsh.
Speaking on Thursday, the Clarets chief offered: “Eighteen months seems a long time to me in light of other things I’ve seen in the sport. Eric Cantona was given a nine-month ban for a kung-fu kick.”
Barton will not be offered a fresh contract at Turf Moor, having returned on a short-term deal in January.
“We thought there was a chance, of course [of this happening]. We’re not naive. Joey understood that.
“On the football side of things, we didn’t want it to get in the way of thinking he was a worthwhile player to bring back.
“We wanted to get on with it, give him a platform, and he’s done that.”
*For the full written reasons behind Barton’s ban, head this way