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'I only admitted to betting charges to clear it all up’ - Ivan Toney

Suspended Brentford star, Ivan Toney has said that he admitted to betting charges slammed against him by the English FA, to get things cleared up.

 Recall that the 27-year-old striker was charged with 232 breaches of FA regulations before he was found guilty and hit with an eight-month ban which runs out in January, along with a £50,000 fine.

Speaking on today’s Diary of a CEO podcast, Toney said; 

“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.

“Get it over and done with because having that hovering over me and trying to concentrate on my career is not the best thing. I done well to finish on 20 goals with that hanging over me.”

Toney also told host, Dragon's Den star, Steven Bartlett that the reason he would bet through someone else was not because he thought he wasn't allowed to make the bets, but because "I didn't want my parents seeing what I was doing with my money".  

He added;  

“This was when I was away. I know my post did go to my parents. Of course your parents want to know what's going on. There were actually times where she's (Toney's mother) opened it and she's said certain things about it.”

Toney's bets were over five seasons from 2017 to 2021, and during the inquiries a psychologist diagnosed him with a gambling addiction which led to his ban being shortened.  

When asked why he started betting, Toney said;  

“As you were young it's like a little flutter they call it - you're in like the fair, arcade kind of thing just trying to win a little change. I'd say like around 15. I'd say the more money you get, the higher the stakes go.”

Asked if he realised he had an unhealthy problem, he said: 

"In terms of thinking 'do you have a problem', you don't think of 'if I lose this, this is going to happen'.

"You never think of the negatives, you always think of the positives, and being on the money I was on, 'it's fine I'll get that at the back end of the month', or 'he owes me this, it's fine'.

“I'd sort everything I needed to pay for first and then it's like 'I've got this to play with'. I took care of what needed to be cared for.”

Talking about whether he was able to acknowledge he had a gambling addiction, he said:  

“You don't allow yourself to believe it.  People think in their head 'I can stop if I want to', not knowing deep down you probably can't.” 

Toney also revealed that not added to England's squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was the biggest punishment he got for the charges. 

He added; 

“The biggest punishment for me was missing out on playing in the World Cup. I felt down around that time. Someone is out to get me. To stop me from playing for England…. In my head, that’s how I saw it at the time.

“They want to punish me for this, missing out playing for England. It’s everyone’s dream to be playing at the World Cup… It felt like a double hit.

“Missing out on the World Cup but letting me play for the rest of the season and then banning me after the season. It doesn’t add up in my head to be fair.”

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