Ivan Toney: Thomas Frank questions key part of Brentford striker ban
Toney pleaded guilty to 232 breaches of FA betting rules and was banned from football for eight months and not allowed to train with Brentford until half his term was served on September 17.
The Brentford boss said: “Yes, Ivan did something wrong, but what I don’t understand at all is how can you not let him be involved in football for the first four months. ?
“What do you get out of it? If you want to rehabilitate people, you give them an education, you do something, and now he’s on his own.
“There’s no doubt for me that the first four months he could be involved in football, he would have to go to a hundred schools to tell them about his football and his background, it’s like that should work – but I’m a football manager, what do I know?
“If I can’t talk to him, then they’ll have to ban me. If I’m not allowed to talk to him at support, there must be something wrong. I think you have the right to contact people even when they are in prison, don’t you? So I think I have the right.
Toney’s ban was reduced by the Independent Regulatory Commission after he was diagnosed with gambling addiction by a psychiatric expert.
In March, Brentford reportedly considered cutting ties with Hollywood Bets, who have been their main kit sponsor since July 2021. And Frank discussed the link between football and gaming sponsors and called for better ways to support players .
“I think that’s definitely something we need to look at,” Frank added. “The cleaner the football industry could be, the better.
“Ivan made mistakes, now we have to overcome that and we will support him. But there is no doubt that the relationship between football and the game needs to be reviewed and I think we can only look at each other first.
“We got a massive recall (Toney ban), are we doing enough to educate our players? I think that’s a big thing, I think the football authorities have a huge task to make sure we do this much better.
On Sunday, Brentford host Manchester City at the Gtech Community Stadium, where a win depending on other results could qualify them for the Europa Conference League – the Bees are ninth and trail seventh-placed Aston Villa by two points.
“I believe anything can happen in football,” Frank said.
“I had a big belief before the season that we would make the top 10, of course I didn’t know (Brentford would be in contention for Europe) but I’m so glad we’re in the game and have a chance. But we just have to beat the best team in the world.