Reuters

Joey Barton charged with breaching betting rules, but has he done anything wrong?

Barton charged with breaching betting rules, but has he done anything wrong?
By Eurosport

05/10/2016 at 19:01

Joey Barton has been given until Wednesday to respond to a charge by the Scottish Football Association that he placed 44 bets on football matches.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Scottish Football Association have accused Barton of breaching strict rules on betting.

"In that between 1st July and 15th September 2016, both dates inclusive, you placed 44 bets upon football matches, and accordingly gambled upon football matches in contravention of Disciplinary Rule 31," said the SFA.

Barton's hearing is due to be heard on Thursday, 27 October.

The player was suspended for three weeks by Rangers manager Mark Warburton after a bust-up with his manager and team-mates following the 5-1 loss to Glasgow rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

Joey Barton after the Celtic defeat

Joey Barton after the Celtic defeatReuters

It is not yet clear how many matches Barton allegedly bet on or if the bets were confined to Scottish matches.

Former Rangers midfielder Ian Black was given a 10-match ban and fined £7,500 by the SFA in September 2013 after being accused of gambling on 160 matches over a seven-year period when he betted against Rangers three times.

Steve Simonsen was banned for one match after betting on 55 matches.

Steve Lawless of Partick Thistle was given a six-match ban after being accused of betting on 513 matches.

OUR VIEW - Barton deserves no more than a slap on the wrist

It is difficult to accept the view that Joey Barton has done anything seriously wrong here. Unless he was betting against his own club, it is difficult to see what harm a player is doing by sticking on a bet on a Saturday afternoon. Especially if it is outwith Scotland.

It is not as if putting a money on an accumulator on his day off would have any effect on the outcome of matches. A sensible decision would be reminding Barton his duties as a professional player under rules in Scotland especially when other players have been guilty of much worse over the years.

It is really the rules that need updating to treat footballers as responsible adults. Perhaps betting on Scottish matches could lead to problems, but Barton really deserves no more than slap on the wrist.

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