Barton Faces Betting PenaltiesJake Cooper | 11 May 2017
Joey Barton, who currently plays for the English Premier League club Burnley, has been hit with some serious punishment following his betting activities. The 34-year-old placed 1260 bets between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, all relating to events in football matches and competitions. This is in direct contravention of the English Football Association’s Rule E8, and he has admitted to a charge of misconduct related to betting.
As penance, Barton has been issued with a £30,000 fine, equivalent to €35,300 or $38,500, and has been given a warning over his future conduct. Much more concerning, for Barton, his club and his fans, is the suspension he is facing. The Football Association wants to suspend him from games and all activity related to the sport for 18 full months.
A Harsh Consequence
This is not the first time Barton’s betting activities have landed him in hot water; in October 2015 he was charged by the Scottish Football Association after he admitted to placing 44 wagers on various games while he was playing for the Rangers, a Scottish Premiership club. The Scottish association’s rules clearly prohibit players, coaches and referees from betting on football anywhere in the world.
In the case of the Scottish Football Association penalty, however, Barton was given a suspension of a single match only. The footballer has stated that he is disappointed with the harshness of the English association’s sanction, and that he intends to appeal it.
Barton added that the length of the suspension was effectively forcing him into an early retirement from his football career, and that he had decided to contest it following discussions with both his friends and his lawyers. He also said he wanted to be clear that no match-fixing was involved and that his integrity was not in question.
Fans Hoping for Appea
Barton has leagues of loyal fans, who will no doubt be hoping that his appeal against the current suspension is successful. Having worked his way through the Manchester City youth system, he started playing for the side back in 2002. His appearances increased gradually over the next 5 years, and he was first capped for the English national team in 2007.
Barton has continued to play consistently, and fans have enjoyed watching his development, but he has also been plagued by controversy. He has been convicted twice on violence charges, serving some prison time, and has faced previous violent conduct charges from the English Football Association among other challenges. Whether he can escape his current issues remains to be seen.