Barton banned for 18 months over betting

The Professional Footballers' Association has vowed to help Joey Barton with his gambling addiction after the Burnley midfielder was banned for 18 months.

It is also worth pointing out these 30 bets cover 15 matches during Barton's career, and he is going to publish the information that best illustrates the argument in his statement.

The full written reasons for the decision have not yet been disclosed.

In a lengthy statement on his website Barton said he was "very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction".

Barton, 34, has admitted a charge relating to 1,260 bets he placed on football matches between 2006 and 2016.

In a brief statement, Burnley confirmed Barton's intention to appeal against the length of his suspension. 'I hope that I shall be afforded a fair hearing by an independent Appeal Panel.

Arguably the most shocking aspect is Barton's admission to betting on matches he was involved in. However I'd like to offer some context.

Barton has twice been convicted on charges of violence and was sentenced to six months in prison for common assault and affray in 2008. The latter has led to him campaigning for gay rights and appearing on the BBC's Question Time.

Burnley are now 16th in the Premier League, five points above relegation, with four games to play.

In the same month, he was given a one-match ban for breaking Scottish Football Association rules on gambling.

Barton posted two images revealing the thirty most pertinent bets as determined by the FA.

He says that he was not involved in the matchday squad on any of those occasions, adding: "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".

Barton opted to lay £5 on team-mate Georgios Samaras being the first goalscorer and his stake was doubled, as the Greek striker was only introduced as a 66th-minute substitute.

But it is the questions Barton raises about football and gambling which will provoke the most debate, as many will sympathise with the points raised in an nearly 1,500-word statement on his website.

Barton says "if the FA is serious about tackling gambling I would urge it to reconsider its own dependence on the gambling industry".

  • Julie Sanders