Ivan Toney found to be ‘betting on himself’; season climaxes loom – football news | Soccer
Wigan Athletic: Relegated from the Championship this season, Wigan Athletic will be deducted a toal of eight points from the 2023-24 Sky Bet League One table after failing to pay its players’ wages on time this month, the second time they have done so this year. The sanction comes on top of a previous deduction of four points after the club failed to pay its players’ wages on time in March.
“Following the failure to ensure that an amount equal to 125% of the club’s forecast monthly wage bill was deposited in a designated club account by Wednesday 24 May, as per the order of an Independent Disciplinary Commission, Wigan Athletic Football Club has been deducted a further four points and will now start the 2023/24 season on minus eight points (-8),” read an EFL statement.
“This follows a previous sanction of four points after failing to pay its players’ wages on time in March 2023. The EFL has spent the past 48 hours in dialogue with the Club in an attempt to find a positive outcome to the issue but as of 9am Friday morning the required funds have not been deposited.” Wigan finished bottom of the Championship with 39 points, 10 clear of safety.
Newcastle United: Eddie Howe has addressed the subject of Newcastle’s need to bring in new players during the summer and has said some of his targets could be classed as “marquee signings”.
Speaking earlier this morning, the Newcastle manager said: “Yes, there would be players we’d love to bring in that would be classified in that bracket, I’m sure. For me, it’s more about the role they can fulfil in the team – whether that’s viewed positively or as a marquee signing, then great. I’m not in my mind thinking: ‘We have to have one of those players that ticks that box for the supporters’. As much as I’d love to do that, it’s about finding the right player in the right position who I think makes us better.”
Despite the bottomless financial resources of Newcastle’s Saudi owners, Howe has stressed throughout his reign that unbridled spending is not an option and that the club will have to continue to invest shrewdly. “Unfortunately players don’t come cheap, especially good players,” he said. “Yes, we are going to have to spend a certain amount of money. How much that is, I don’t know. I still don’t know what my budget is at this moment in time, but there will have to be some expenditure. It will have to be controlled. It will have to be under FFP restrictions, which we have worked under and will continue to work under. They are definitely impacting us and what we will be able to do.”
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Leicester City’s James Maddison have both been linked with summer moves to Newcastle but are likely to be in big demand. Newcastle finish their season with a trip to Chelsea and Howe will be without keeper Nick Pope at Stamford Bridge after he underwent surgery on a hand injury. He joins Jamaal Lascelles, Javier Manquillo, Matt Ritchie, Joelinton and Joe Willock on the sidelines.
Ivan Toney responds to today’s revelations …
Or more specifically, doesn’t respond to them. The Brentford striker has posted somewhat cryptically on Twitter saying “I’ll speak soon with no filter”.
Championship playoff final: Luton chief executive Gary Sweet “could not be prouder” of manager Rob Edwards for leading the club into the Championship play-off final against Coventry in his first year in charge. Edwards only joined Luton in November 2022 but has taken them within touching distance of the Premier League after the his side beat Sunderland 3-2 on aggregate in last week’s play-off semi-final.
Sweet lauded the 40-year-old former Watford manager’s conduct since replacing the hugely successful Nathan Jones, with Luton vying for a return to the top flight just nine years after playing in non league. “I couldn’t be prouder of Rob, we couldn’t have had a better human being come in to carry on the great job Nathan did and the mantle he left,” he said.
“But to do that in a way which couldn’t be more befitting than how we want our club to be represented and so Rob’s image and persona is impeccable on that front and reflects us. We’d love to think he’s a lot better than we are [the board]. I don’t think we can ever represent ourselves as well as he does so I am delighted he is doing that for us.”
Sweet admitted he is not surprised by Luton’s progress in recent years which would see a fourth promotion in 10 seasons if they beat Coventry at Wembley on Saturday. The chief executive hailed the contributions of players and staff whose joint efforts are the leading factor behind Luton’s upwards trajectory.
“Am I surprised? No, not really,” Sweet said. “We are very patient people and when you’re patient things happen more quickly than you think. We have a determination almost from the point of view that it will happen and we will make it happen, we just need to make sure the way it happens is right. I am not surprised, forget the players for one minute even though they’re my heroes and I love them because they have been fantastic throughout. But the staff here, the board, my fellow managers, everyone you see here in the building are the very pit about the fabric of the culture and in the last week it has shown it.
“We’ve had people work through nights to get job to job done and not one of them has said can I have more money, not one of them has said what’s the benefit for me? They just get on and do their job for the love of the club, for the love of Luton, that’s why we’ve accelerated like we have.”
WSL: Hearty congratulations to the Guardian’s brilliant Women’s Football Correspondent, Suzy Wrack, who won the Vikki Orvice award for New Women’s Sports Writing this week for her book A Woman’s Game: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Women’s Football.
When she’s not cranking out award-winning tomes, Suzy can sometimes be found loitering in the Hertfordshire countryside, specifically on Arsenal’s London Colney training ground. She recently went there to hurl interrogatory projectiles at the team’s assistant coach Kelly Smith for a wide-ranging interview on the subject of this year’s title race, among other things.
More on the Ivan Toney findings. “Ivan Toney repeatedly bet on matches involving his own team and would have received a ban of longer than eight months had he not been diagnosed with a gambling addiction, the written reasons of his case, published by the Football Association, have shown. Read on …
WSL: Marc Skinner wants his Manchester United players to focus on the task at hand while he keeps an ear on results elsewhere as the Women’s Super League title race goes to the final day of the season tomorrow afternoon.
United travel to Liverpool trailing league leaders Chelsea by two points, with Emma Hayes’s side taking on rock-bottom Reading, who need to win to avoid relegation from the top flight. Skinner’s side are already guaranteed their highest-ever league finish five years after reforming but must win on Merseyside to give themselves any chance of denying Chelsea a fourth straight league title.
“All we can do is try to win the game,” he said. “Should it need different connotations, we’ve got to be ready to adapt to that but we’ve got to try and win the game. We have to keep tabs on Reading-Chelsea. I don’t think we’re going to listen to it with that much intent but we’ll have an understanding of the scoreline.
“It will be more comms in the ear, not watching the game. It will be a tough ask for Reading, Chelsea have been excellent this season, but we can all hope. We need two great swings to go for us.” Should Chelsea draw with Reading, Manchester United could still win the title but would have to beat Liverpool by six goals.
Newcastle United: Eddie Howe says his team “massively over-achieved” by securing Champions League football this season. Newcastle guaranteed themselves a top-four Premier League finish with Monday night’s 0-0 draw with Leicester and will return to the biggest European stage after an absence of two decades.
Asked about dealing with the expectation they have created, Howe said: “Ask me in a few months. I don’t know if it’s something you look forward to, but the dynamic will have changed for us. I think we have massively over-achieved this year for where we were at the start of the season and to keep over-achieving – and that’s what we’re going to have to do to match the expectation – is going to be our biggest challenge.”
Newcastle bring the curtain down on their season with a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea, who have not massively over-achieved this season, to say the least.
Toney also bet on his own team to lose
It has also been revealed that back in 2017, Toney bet on the team he was with at the time to lose on a number of occasions but only in games in which he was not part of the squad and therefore could not negatively impact the games in question. If nothing else and with no pun intended, the striker clearly backs himself. Brentford have received and accepted the written reasons outlined by the Independent Regulatory Commision and we’ll bring you more details as we get them.
Ivan Toney was betting on himself to score
The full findings of the investigation into the Brentford striker’s gambling have been published and reveal that Toney bet on himself to score on 15 occasions before it was common knowledge that he would be playing in the games concerned.
Toney received an eight-month ban but apparently got lucky. The independent regulatory commision who conducted the investigation on behalf of the FA say he would have got a a 15-month ban but for the mitigating factors of his guilty plea, his youth at the time of his rule-breaking, his “genuine remorse” and the fact he has been diagnosed with a gambling addiction.
“The position appears to be that Mr Toney has ceased gambling on football although he still gambles on other sports and casino games,” says the report. “He is determined to address his gambling problem with therapy at the conclusion of the season.” Good luck to him as he takes his first steps on the road to recovery.
Liverpool: Following Manchester United’s win over Chelsea last night, Mo Salah took to Twitter, as they say, to say how “devastated” he is by Liverpool’s failure to qualify for the Champions League, adding there is absolutely “no excuse” for the team’s failure to finish in the top four. “We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed,” he wrote. “We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”
Asked for his reaction to Salah’s tweet, Jurgen Klopp said he had read it but was “a bit worried about the headlines” journalists create from things he says. “Do me a favour and do your best,” he said. “When it’s a fact that you can’t qualify for the Champions League anymore … look, even I knew after the last game that [Newcastle and Manchester United] need one point, for me it was clear they would get that point.
“In the world of social media so many bad things happen constantly and I don’t think that was one of them. It was just a normal description of his situation, of his feelings. In that moment after the game it’s not a time to send optimistic messages, maybe an hour later or a day later. I saw Mo in the canteen just now and he was smiling. I don’t know for what reason, I didn’t ask him but he was not in a bad mood.”
Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp is currently talking to the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate and has just said Liverpool’s final game of the season against Southampton on the south coast is strange because there is nothing at stake for either team. Following Manchester United’s win over Chelsaea last night, Liverpool cannot now qualify for the Champions League and Southampton are already relegated.
“I’m not used to games on the last matchday where everything is sorted before. I can’t remember when that last time was the case. We only play this game to win the game and we have to make sure that I find a lineup with good legs, a lot of desire and we have to see … we will not take any risks with players. That makes no sense. We have a big group, training was really good and the boys were really into it. I have not made any decisions yet because I didn’t see the doc yet but I will have a conversation with him and we will see who is contention.”
Brighton: With qualification for the Europa League secured, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has said he will need to add bodies to his squad, especially if in-demand pair Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister are sold during the summer. He has, however, said he won’t be bringing in too many new players.
“Monday starts the toughest period in my season because without football it is difficult,” he said ahead of his side’s trip to Aston Villa. “I am looking forward to starting the next pre-season. I think we have to work in this holiday because we have to build a new squad to prepare for the new season. I think we don’t need so many players. We have to understand if Caicedo, Mac Allister [are sold] – I don’t know which players can leave – then we have to bring very good players because next season will be tougher than this one.
On the subject of what kind of money he’ll be given to spend by club owner Tony Bloom, De Zerbi displayed a poker-face that would have been the envy of his poker-playing boss. “I can speak only about the characteristics, the quality of players,” he said. “Money is not my job. For sure I can tell you we have to have a stronger squad, a bigger squad because we will play in four competitions. And we have to be ready to compete in our way in these four competitions because we arrived with 14, 15 players in the crucial part of the season.
“The next year will be tougher because in the history of the Premier League it can happen that clubs achieve Europa League and the next year you have to fight to avoid relegation.”
The weekend starts here …
Or it started last night, for the purposes of this rolling conveyor belt of piping hot football news. Playing out the game in hand they had over the Premier League’s 18 other teams, Manchester United heaped more misery on Chelsea as they subjected them to a fairly comprehensive hiding at Old Trafford, securing their place in next season’s Champions League in the process. United hosted Fulham in the Premier League’s final round of fixtures on Sunday, while Chelsea’s last chance to salvage some small sliver of dignity from a disastrous campaign presents itself in a game against high-flying Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
There’s plenty of more important taking place over the weekend, with the top flight relegation battle to be fought to its conclusion and the denouement of the Women’s Super League taking place, while three EFL playoff finals will also be decided.
One of Luton Town or Coventry City will earn promotion to the Premier League tomorrow evening, an outcome not even the most prescient of sooth-sayers could have foreseen at the start of the season. Elsewhere, the final round of fixtures will be played out in the Scottish Premiership and a win at home to Mainz will see Jude Bellingham’s Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title. There’ll be no shortage of pre-weekend news and chat to stay across so we’ll keep you up to date with all the news as it comes rolling in.