Burnley player Joey Barton responds to his 18 month ban
Joey Barton midfielder of Burnley has responded to his 18 month ban.
34-year-old Barton admitted that the Football Association charge relation to better, has forced him into early retirement.
With his Burnley deal about to expire in the summer this has most likly ended his Burnley career.
In a statment after getting his 18 month ban Berton said “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.
“I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players. I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem.
“I’m disappointed it wasn’t taken into proper consideration. I think if the FA is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football, it needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies, their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet.
“I am not alone in football in having a problem with gambling. I grew up in an environment where betting was and still is part of the culture.”
Barton said he has had an betting account with Betfair, that is registered in his own name, address and has been vertied by his passport since 2004
“I have placed over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports,” he said. “Just over 1,200 were placed on football and subject to the charges against me. The average bet was just over £150, many were for only a few pounds.
“For the modern footballer, downtime and rest are important and I spend much of my time away from training in front of a TV screen, channel hopping across a range of sports, and betting on the outcome of games. I like watching sports and predicting the outcome.
“Set alongside what we are privileged to earn as footballers, my betting stakes are relatively small.
“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. I hate losing more than I like winning, and this mindset has helped prevent me from placing big bets, for fear of losing big.
“Raised at the hearing was that between 2004 and 2011 I placed a handful of bets on my own team to lose matches. I accept of course that this is against the rules, for the obvious reason that a player with an additional financial stake in the game might seek to change the course of it for his own personal gain. However I’d like to offer some context.
“First, in every game I have played, I have given everything. I’m confident that anyone who has ever seen me play, or played with or against me, will confirm that to be the case. I am more aware than anyone that I have character issues that I struggle with, and my addictive personality is one of them, but I am a devoted and dedicated professional who has always given my all on the pitch.
“Second, on the few occasions where I placed a bet on my own team to lose, I was not involved in the match day squad for any of those games. I did not play. I was not even on the bench. I had no more ability to influence the outcome than had I been betting on darts, snooker, or a cricket match in the West Indies. 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. I understand people will think that is childish and selfish and I cannot disagree with that.
“Third, I should point out that the last of these bets against my own team was six years ago (and in a reserve game), when I was going through a particularly troubled period, and when the FA were not nearly as hard on gambling as they are now.”
Barton added: “I want to thank the Burnley FC board, management, players and staff for their faith and understanding, and their belief that I would play for them, and play well, even with this hanging over me, and I want to thank the Burnley fans for the support they have given me throughout. They have been brilliant.
“Having consulted with my friends and lawyers, I have decided I will be appealing against the length of the ban.
“I hope that I shall be afforded a fair hearing by an independent Appeal Panel. If I am, we are confident that the sanction will be reduced to a fair one that both reflects the offences as well as the mitigating factors and the fact that there was nothing untoward or suspicious about the bets I made.”