Brentford struck a 'secret deal' with the FA while Ivan Toney was still banned
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Ivan Toney was allowed to train with Brentford in August after the Premier League club struck a 'secret deal' with the FA, according to reports.
Back in May this year, the 27-year-old forward was suspended from all football-related activity for eight months and fined £50,000 for breaching The FA’s Betting Rules.
The FA published a full report, revealing that Toney was initially charged with 262 breaches of gambling rules before 30 were withdrawn.
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.
The punishment was initially set to be 15 months before it reduced to eight after a guilty plea and the diagnosis of a gambling addiction.
In fact, the publication has obtained 'exclusive footage' of Toney taking part in a solo fitness session with first-team conditioning coach Matt Bramhall on August 1, six weeks before he was due back.
The Premier League club claim they were not breaking any rules after receiving permission from the FA.
“Ivan Toney was given dispensation by the Football Association to attend club premises during his suspension from football-related activity for rehabilitation work after he suffered a hamstring injury that caused him to miss matches in May," Brentford said.
“That rehabilitation work involved individual sessions with strength and conditioning coaches and medical staff, including with a football, as per Ivan’s recovery plan.
“There have been no breaches of FA sanctions, all of which were strictly observed by both the club and Ivan.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank confirmed on September 18 that Toney has returned to training. He also said the club have a 16-week plan to get Toney ready for playing in January.
"I'm proud of Ivan," he said. "The journey he's been on, the resilience he's been showing throughout his life. The progress he's done is amazing, he should be an example for a lot of people and footballers with what he's achieved.
"Playing in the lower leagues and constantly getting higher and higher, scoring 31 goals in the Championship, 12 in his first [Premier League] season and then 20, with not even playing 38 games. It's remarkable."
Ivan Toney is back in training for Brentford 💪 pic.twitter.com/DqFbjerQVg— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 18, 2023
Speaking on the Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett in August, Toney opened up about his case.
"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."