Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

FA Are Just Picking on Me, Says Barton; BETTING BAN IS BECAUSE OF STAR'S 'OUTSPOKEN PAST'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

FA Are Just Picking on Me, Says Barton; BETTING BAN IS BECAUSE OF STAR'S 'OUTSPOKEN PAST'

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS NUFC Editor mark.douglas@trinitymirror.com @msidouglas

EX-NEWCASTLE midfielder Joey Barton has defended himself for betting in a Magpies' match he played in - as he rails against the Football Association's decision to ban him for 18 months for betting offences.

Barton is due to appeal the ban on July 20 but in an outspoken interview he has accused the FA of picking on him because he has been outspoken in the past - and of hypocrisy over their sponsorship tie-ins with bookmakers.

Barton was banned for breaching FA rule E8, making 1,260 football bets in 12 years - and laying two bets on games he actually played in.

One of those two was for Newcastle - a humiliating defeat against Stevenage in the FA Cup - but he says he did not think it made any difference to his performance.

Barton said: "I did not play any different, if I won or lost financially it made no difference.

"I stopped because I felt I was jinxing myself."

It is an interesting case which has laid bare football's attitude to betting.

The midfielder accepts he is a gambling addict and has revealed he has attended Gambler's Anonymous meetings.

Barton faces the prospect of missing out the whole of next season after being freed by Burnley.

He says that he may use the break to write children's books - and he has also revealed he may go on the BBC's Question Time again soon.

Although he wants to return to the game, he admits he does not have much faith in the appeals system.

Barton added: "Eighteen months? I thought six, eight at a push.

"It is a six-month ban going by other cases but I suppose everyone else is not me.

"So, Luis Suarez racially insults Patrice Evra. He bites a player. John Terry abuses Anton Ferdinand. Eight and 10 games for Suarez. Four for Terry. That is 22 games total.

"For Cantona's kung-fu kick it is nine months, say 48 games. …

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