Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Brentford striker Ivan Toney opens up on betting ban for first time and says ‘I’m in football prison’

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has publicly spoke on his gambling addiction since he was banned by the Football Association.

The 27-year-old is currently serving an eight-month ban after his 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

Toney won’t return to football until the new yearGetty

He has now reflected on his addiction and how it affected himThe Diary Of A CEO YouTube

Toney was also handed a £50,000 and is not set to return to football until mid-January.

He has now revealed the true extent of his gambling addiction as he and Brentford await his return to the pitch.

While he admitted the charges, he said on the Diary of a CEO podcast: “There are some bets in there that I don’t recall making.

“The bets on my team to lose when I’m not playing, the majority of those were within the bets that personally I think I didn’t do, but I still took responsibility for them so the whole process could get cleared up.”

He admitted he started betting at the age of 15 and added: “The impact it would have is waiting for payday.

“I’d pay for everything I need to sort and then I would be like, ‘I’ve got this much to play with’.

“I took care of what needed to be taken care of then in my head it’s like, ‘my money is my money and I can spend it how I want.’”

Toney also spoke on how much the allegations affected his life off the pitch: “I remember at the time when there was allegations, I wanted to go to a restaurant and they were like, ‘No you can’t – we’re not taking you’.

“I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And then it was, ‘The allegations, we’re not allowing you in’ or something like this. I was actually so confused.

“I was thinking, ‘For starters, it’s allegations and second of all you are a restaurant how can you not let someone in because of bad press?’”

Toney was a crucial part of Brentford’s success last seasonGetty

He is nearly halfway through his eight-month ban and has revealed that he no longer gambles.

“No [I don’t gamble anymore]. I think it’s kind of been in the public eye if I was going to these places. It’s more the embarrassment of, ‘Is he still continuing?’

“So I wouldn’t allow myself. You look back and take a backseat, have a look at the money you lost and what it could have.

“People to provide for. It could go to here or just managing money better. How I look at things. I can see it as me being naïve.”

Toney also questioned the timing of the news about his breaches, with England just about to kick off their World Cup campaign in Qatar.

“Personally, I felt like it was a bit of a questionable time when they decided to bring it all out and then when they actually dealt with the situation come the end of the season, it’s kind of like why bring it out then?

He was tipped to go to the World Cup with England but stayed at homeGetty

“I feel like, yes I’m banned now, but the biggest punishment for me was missing out on playing at the World Cup. I felt like somebody’s out to get me at that time, to stop me from playing for England.”

He added: “Looking back on what I’ve done, would I change some bits probably, but it is what it is.

“I’ll take full responsibility for the punishment I’m getting now. I know for a fact I’ll come back stronger than this, I’m better than I was before.

“If I wasn’t as strong as I was in my head that would break some people; I’d be at a petrol station they’d scream certain things and I’d be with my family and my children and people just be like shouting dumb things out. 

“There’s a lot of haters and doubters out there thinking, ‘He ain’t going to be the same man when he’s back’, actually they’re right.

“I’m gonna be a different man, I’m going to be even better than that guy who scored them goals before. I’m built different, my mentality’s different.”

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