Brentford striker Ivan Toney’s eight-month ban is a “massive reminder” that the relationship between football and the gaming industry needs to be overhauled, boss Thomas Frank has said.
On Friday it was revealed that Toney had received a reduced ban due to a diagnosed gambling addiction.
“The relationship between football and the game needs to be reviewed,” Frank said.
“We got a massive recall. The authorities have a huge task to make sure we do this much better.”
Toney was charged with 262 betting offenses at the end of 2022 and received a ban last week after admitting 232 offences.
He is banned from training until September 17 and will not be able to play football until January 17, 2024.
“Yes, Ivan did something wrong, but what I don’t understand is how can you not let him be involved in football for the first four months?” says Frank.
“What’s in it for you? If you want to rehabilitate people, you give them an education, you do something, and now he’s on his own.
“There is no doubt for me that the first four months he could be involved in football, he should be required to go to 100 schools to tell them about his football and his past, that’s how it is. should work, but I’m a football manager, what do I know?”
His comments come after supporting England manager Gareth Southgate this week.
On Wednesday, after naming his England squad for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, Southgate said: “What bothers me is that we have to take care of people. He is injured right now, what is he doing to get back in shape?”
“How can we give him a structure over the next few months so he can develop or become a better person at the end?
“I don’t like the idea that we’re just leaving someone, so he’s not allowed to be part of the football community.
“I don’t think that’s how we should work, I don’t think that’s how the best rehabilitation programs would work.”
Frank agreed with the England boss and added: “It was a fantastic point he made; if you want to rehabilitate people, you give them an education. Are we doing enough to educate our players?
“Now that everything is in place, we will put the plan in place to do our best to support Ivan.
“If I can’t talk to him, I guess they’ll have to ban me as well. If I’m not allowed to support him, there must be something wrong.
“I think you have the right to contact people even when they’re in jail, don’t you? So I think I have the right.”
Football and gambling
In March, Brentford reportedly considered cutting ties with Hollywood Bets, who have been their main kit sponsor since July 2021.
A month later, Premier League clubs reunited agreed to withdraw game sponsorship from the front of their match shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season.
However, after the deadline, clubs will still be able to continue to feature gambling brands in areas such as shirt sleeves and LED advertising.
And clubs will be allowed to complete new shirt deals before the deadline.
Eight top clubs – Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham – have gambling companies on the front of their shirts, worth an estimated £60million a year.