Brentford striker Ivan Toney breaks silence on betting ban in appearance on Diary of a CEO podcast
| Last updated
Brentford striker Ivan Toney has broken his silence on his eight-month betting ban, giving his side of the story for the first time.
The England star was found guilty of 232 breaches of betting rules between February 2017 and January 2021.
The charge came to light in November prior to the 2022 World Cup, with Toney then left out of England's squad by Gareth Southgate.
He continued to bang in the goals for Brentford until May when he was suspended from all football-related activity and fined £50,000.
The FA published a full report, revealing that Toney was initially charged with 262 breaches of gambling rules before 30 were withdrawn.
The punishment was to be 15 months before it was halved after a guilty plea and the diagnosis of a gambling addiction.
Toney is said to have placed 29 bets involving his own team, including 13 stakes for his side to lose in seven different games - 11 of which were against parent club Newcastle while he was on loan elsewhere.
"It was far from match-fixing," Toney said, discussing his meeting with the FA in May 2022.
"I'm sure there were certain articles saying match-fixing but that's the media for you, making it a big talking point.
"They [the FA] wanted information from as far back as 2015. I didn't have the phone I had back then to give you information but I wanted to cooperate how I can to let you investigate what you want to investigate.
"When the club actually pulled me into a room and said the FA have been in touch and they want to speak to you. I said, 'OK, no problem' and he said, 'Have you done any bets whilst you've been at Brentford and have you been betting on football?'.
"I was like, 'No, I haven't done no bets fixing football. He was like, 'Well the FA want to speak to you, don't delete nothing on your phone because there's a system where they can get back old messages.
"I said, 'No problem, I'm not deleting nothing'. They asked me certain things that happened seven or eight years ago. So much information thrown at you at one time, it's kind of like, 'I actually can't remember'. I think I was in there for five hours. I wasn't aware what they were trying to get at.
"I didn't lie, I just couldn't really remember what they was asking for. At the time I couldn't remember until they brought certain things in front of me and it was jogging back my memory.
"I cooperated with everything and I told him the truth about everything. I was betting on myself to score first from a while back, it's not like I'm smashing someone and getting a yellow card."
On his betting tendencies, Toney added: "When you're young, it's like a little flutter they call it, you're in the fair arcade or something trying to win a little change. I'd say around 15.
"The more money you get, the higher the stakes go. On the 232 breaches there was some bets I don't recall making but I was willing to take responsibility just to get the process all over and one with because having that hovering over me and trying to concentrate on my career is far from the best feeling."
FA regulations prohibit players in the Premier League, English Football League, National League and The FA Women’s Super League and The FA Women’s Championship from betting on any football matches or sharing any information.
Toney will be able to return to training on 17 September, while his ban runs up until 16 January.
He says he no longer bets, partially because he is now in the public eye but also looking at things from a backseat view and realising what his money could have gone towards given the people he has a duty to provide for.