The football association has banned Joey Barton for 18 months for doing the sort of thing football sponsors definitely want to see more of.
The FA explained that betting on football matches involving your team, even when you’re not playing in them, is definitely bad, despite the plethora of adverts in football urging fans to do just that.
A spokesperson for the FA said, “We’re in a difficult position. Obviously, we would like to say that gambling is a pernicious industry that is subtly ruining the purity of our national game – but on the other hand, it’s an industry that does continue to write some lovely, lovely big cheques to both football tclubs and the TV channels showing our matches.
“So it’s probably best all round if we just heavily punish Joey Barton for doing what the gambling adverts encourage you all to do, and stay silent on the obvious rank hypocrisy of taking such a position.”
The announcement of Barton’s punishment was delayed due to a break in the FA hearing, during which Ray Winstone went before reporters to explain that Bet365 were offering odds of 5-1 that Joey Barton would get a ban of 12 months or over.