The Football Association have slapped Joey Barton with an 18 month ban for placing bets on football matches, effectively ending the Burnley midfielder’s career and clearing a path for him to spend all his time exclusively on football betting.
Barton accepted the FA’s charges that accused him of having placed a whopping 1,260 bets on football matches between 2006 and 2013, but was less than happy with all the free time that will be coming his way.
“The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football,” grumbled Barton in a statement posted on his website.
“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.”
While Barton calls in to question the FA’s own relationship with betting, he fails to realise that football will happily sell it’s soul to the highest bidder long before it develops anything remotely approaching a conscience.
Barton has said he plans to appeal the FA’s charge, which means you can fully expect betting companies to start offering odds on Barton’s chances of success if they haven’t already done so.