DAILY MAIL 🔵 Simon Jordan discusses ‘disturbing’ reasons behind Ivan Toney’s FA ban
‘He HAS to suffer the consequences’: Simon Jordan shares his thoughts on the ‘disturbing’ reasons behind Ivan Toney’s eighth-month FA ban… but insists the Brentford striker was NOT involved in match-fixing
Simon Jordan has stated that Ivan Toney must ‘suffer the consequences’ of 232 breaches of the FA betting rules after the governing body released the full written reasons behind the eighth-month ban handed down to the Brentford striker in May.
The detailed reasoning published on Friday revealed that Toney had:
- Placed 13 bets on his own team between August 2017 and March 2018, with 11 of those against Newcastle, his parent club, while on loan at Wigan
- Informed a friend that he would start his next club’s match in March 2018
- Used other people’s accounts to place bets despite initially denying the allegations
- Admitted to lying during his first interview with the FA when questioned about the gambling charges
The governing body were set to hand Toney a 15-month ban but the suspension was slashed because the player pleader guilty and was diagnosed with a gambling addiction.
The Mail Sport columnist discussed the revelations upon their release on talkSPORT, first of all keen to stress that there was no parallel between Toney’s gambling breaches and match-fixing, but that he still found the revelations ‘disturbing’.
‘Backing yourself and betting on yourself are similar bedfellows,’ Jordan began.
‘(All of the revelations are) disconcerting and disturbing.
‘I’m not surprised. I knew there was going to be situations where he bet on himself.
‘(But)I don’t think Ivan has deliberately tried to artificially create outcomes in games.’
‘If you’re betting on yourself to score a goal, you need other people to be a part of that, to enable some part of collusion and corruption going on.
‘Let’s not move it into the territory that he’s rigged games because I don’t think that’s what happened happened here.
‘You’ve still got to beat them,’ Jordan added of opposition that Toney faced when betting on himself. ‘(But) all of these are clear and egregious breaches.
‘Even if he was in the territory of betting on other things in and around the sport, this is quite specific and quite blatant.’
‘None of (the written reasoning) points to the fact he didn’t know (the rules),’ Jordan continued. ‘They all just point to the fact that he’s done what he’s done, mostly going back the better part of half a decade.
The pundit went on to discuss how, if other high-profile footballers were to make bets in a similar vein, it could damage the integrity of the game and bring it into ‘disarray’.
‘I can’t speak to addiction, but are you addicted to betting on things you’re involved in? Does that form part of the addition?’ Jordan questioned.
‘If he was addicted to betting, I assume he’d be betting on anything and everything, but he seems to be betting on very specific things’
‘The consequences of this behaviour and if it was replicated by others and be quite prolific amongst other footballers, it would bring the game into real disarray and that’s why Ivan has to suffer the consequences he has to suffer.
‘He could have been in real jeopardy here. There doesn’t seem to be much (in the rules) that he hasn’t done, except for collude with others to create an outcome.’
The former Crystal Palace owner also referenced the fact that Toney betting on his own team, stating that the consequences could be deeper if the information handed out by the striker had ‘won lots of bets’.
‘If he lost every single bet, then the information that he gave them was of no use,’ Jordan continued. ‘But if the outcomes were of a very prolific nature in favour of the bet he put on you start to get into the territory of worrying how though outcomes were achieved.
It’s one thing having information about the opposition, it’s another thing being able to execute an outcome.
‘All of it peels back the veneer of any doubt in people’s minds that the consequences of his behaviour weren’t meted out appropriately.’
Even as Toney was handed the suspension, the 27-year-old has been the target of interest from a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Newcastle, and Arsenal.
Jordan urged caution against ‘evisacerating’ Toney’s reputation in the wake of the relegations but offered a word of warning to clubs seeking the services of the 21-goal forward, who Brentford value at over £50million.
‘(It’s important that clubs) evaluate everything about (him) to make sure the right personality is coming into your dressing room.’
‘If there was any doubt, the FA have acted appropriately.’
Former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce added to the debate, sharing that he would consider it ‘more damning’ if Toney had bet ‘against himself not to score, or his club.’
But Jordan argued there was also danger in betting positively on performances too, replying: ‘If your sole focus is to score, you’re not going to perhaps look up and send a better ball to someone else.
‘You’re going to be perhaps negatively affecting a game […] Even if in certain situations it would be better to choose a different option, you’re going to focus (on scoring).’
One of the main consequences of Toney’s ban, Jordan added, is that: ‘He is now the poster boy for the ramifications of breaching rules.’
Brentford have thrown their full support behind the player – whose breaches of the FA rules all came before he joined the Premier League outfit, vowing to support their striker and adding that ‘consider the matter closed’.
Jordan also discussed Gareth Southgate’s reaction, which he shared on Wednesday when announcing the squad for England’s upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers before the full reasoning was released.
The pundit argued: ‘It’s not helpful, with due respect, when the England manager comes out and muddies the water about the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.’
He later added: ‘We don’t need the England manager popping up and telling us to have empathy with the situation, which dilutes the the potency of a certain message.
‘It’s unnecessary for Gareth to pop his head up yesterday. What do need to focus on is what does this do to the game?’
Toney’s ban ends on January 16, 2024, but he will be able to train with Brentford from September.