Daily Mail

Toney pleads guilty


Brentford striker admits breaking FA gambling rules ++ Lengthy ban to start before end of season ++ He’ll fight some of 262 charges ++ Hopes of England call-up dashed

Ivan TOnEY is facing a lengthy ban before the end of the season after pleading guilty to multiple breaches of Fa gambling rules.

Sportsmail can reveal the Brentford striker has admitted many of the 262 charges issued last year, but is contesting others, with an Fa disciplina­ry hearing imminent.

Toney was charged in november with 232 breaches of the Fa’s gambling rules between 2017 and 2021. The next month, the Fa added a further 30 charges relating to alleged breaches between 2017 and 2019.

The 26-year- old played for Scunthorpe, Wigan, Peterborou­gh and Brentford in that period, but is not accused of betting against any of his own teams. a ban for several months is the most likely punishment, given the number of alleged breaches.

Toney’s expected ban would rule him out of England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine next month. That would be a blow for Gareth Southgate, who is short of attacking options with Callum Wilson and Raheem Sterling battling injury niggles.

Toney was left out of Southgate’s World Cup squad after training poorly when he was called up for nations League matches against Germany and Italy last September. But his outstandin­g form for Brentford has kept him in contention for a first cap.

Toney is resigned to being banned and a prompt suspension may suit him and his

club, as if it starts before the end of the season, much of it could be served during the summer.

thomas Frank’s side have 35 points, so are almost certain to stay in the Premier League, even without toney, who has scored 14 goals in 22 games this season.

A summer ban would also help Brentford protect toney’s transfer value with a view to selling him next year. the former newcastle striker is under contract until 2025 and is expected to attract offers once the uncertaint­y around any ban has been clarified.

In 2017, Burnley midfielder Joey Barton was banned for 18 months after admitting placing 1,260 bets between 2006 and 2013, although the suspension was reduced to 13 months following an appeal.

26IVAN TONEY has scored 26 Premier League goals since Brentford were promoted — 31 per cent of their total 85.

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