Barton ban and Dafabet deal - Dyche discusses odd scenario

Joey Barton
Joey Barton
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Sat in front of an advertising board bearing the name of gambling company Dafabet, wearing a training shirt with the same logo, discussing a player banned for breaking FA betting rules.

Sean Dyche was thrown into the middle of a bizarre situation on Thursday afternoon at Burnley's pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace.

The FA had a dim view of Joey Barton's gambling over a 10-year period, and although his integrity remained intact, despite betting on games his clubs were involved in, he has landed an 18-month suspension.

However, the game is rife with gambling sponsorship - Burnley are one of 10 Premier League clubs backed by a gambling firm, with SkyBet sponsoring the EFL, while Ladbrokes are betting partners of the FA Cup.

You cannot move for adverts, before, during and after games tempting you into various deals on bets, whether through Chris Kamara's odd Ladbrokes adverts or Ray Winston's floating head for Bet 365.

Burnley's game at Crystal Palace will be Dafabet v Mansion.

Dyche accepts Barton was in the wrong, albeit given a harsh punishment, but, asked whether he had had any communication with Dafabet on the subject, said: "Not that I know of, they wouldn’t communicate it with me anyway, I get on with the football.

"The first story is simple, Joey was gambling, he admitted it, he got punished.

"That opens a million other thoughts. My biggest one is for the good of the game. I can’t wait for the FA to move on to retrospective banning and video technology.

"That’s important to me as whether betting companies should be giving money to football.

"The betting companies and the powers that be can sort that out, on the pitch I want sorting out."

Burnley's Dafabet deal is worth an estimated £2m for the season, the joint 16th biggest sponsorship deal in the Premier League, dwarfed by the £6m they pay Sunderland.

Dyche leaves that side of things to the commercial department: "I didn’t even realise. The manager looks after the team, I don’t go out and do the deals.

"If they are under a rough rules system and from governing guidelines, as long as you’re within that then the whole thing has to change, it’s not for one club to do it.

"Broadly speaking, smoke too much and you’ve got a good chance of dying, because it says it on the pack. It doesn’t mean people just don’t smoke.

"These rules are there, you know to do or not to do it, but you still have a decision.

"It’s a risk, if you’re going to gamble and you’re not allowed it’s a big risk. It’s not for me to decide if you take that risk, it’s for us to give as much education as we can about it, but you still have a choice."

Morally speaking, is it right to have such sponsorship deals?

Tobacco firms can't sponsor sporting events anymore, while there has previously been an outcry about payday loan companies getting involved with clubs: "Was there not some noise over loan firms and shirt sponsorship? People thought it went into moral grounds because of the interest levels.

"Someone somewhere might make a decision, but I don’t think they will. Advertising gambling and choosing to gamble are two radically different things.

"You have a choice, and as an adult you’re informed enough within football that you know the rules, and Joey knew the rules.

"Although it enhances the education ideas and reminding people, I don’t think we should see it as this problem in football.

"There isn’t a problem in football in my experience but I don’t look into everyone’s personal life for gambling."

Barton intends to appeal the ban, but his contract is up at the end of the season in any case.

What is his situation with the club?: "It was really quick the other day. We got the news, he came in, we had a chat.

"First things first go and see your family, make sure they’re okay.

"Have a think about things, speak to your legal team, let the dust settle and we’ll discuss it further.

"The business side of things are private and personal but this was considered on any agreement Joey had with us from the off.

"We knew this case was going to be answered at some point and we knew that outcome was unlikely to be shake hands, don’t worry about it, get some education.

"It was likely to be some form of ban.

"The financial details are all covered."

Can he even train until his appeal is heard?: "We’ll find out all the details but in it’s rawest form it’s any football activity.

"The details are things like can he run on the treadmill? I presume he probably is. Can he run on the treadmill then run on the pitch? I presume he’s not."