Joey Barton's ban and The FA's rules on betting on football
Former Burnley FC midfielder Joey Barton was the latest high profile footballer to be sanctioned by The Football Association (“The FA”) under its Rules and Regulations (“FA Rules”) relating to betting. Barton, who was charged with having placed 1,260 bets on football matches between March 2006 and May 2013, has been given an 18 month ban from all football activities by The FA and fined £30,000.
This ban (subject to any successful appeal) means that Barton cannot play football (which includes training and appearing in reserve team matches) until he is 36 years old, casting doubts over whether his professional playing career is now at an end. Indeed, in a statement released by Mr Barton in the aftermath of The FA’s decision, the player stated that the decision “effectively forces [him] into an early retirement from playing football.”
Tiran Gunawardena and Phil Hutchinson recently wrote a detailed article examining The FA's rules on betting and their application to Mr. Barton's case. Particular attention is paid to the question of whether The FA's decision was fair, too harsh, or too lenient in comparison to other recent cases involving gambling in sport. This article has been published on LawInSport and can be accessed here.