Brentford striker Ivan Toney was formally charged with multiple betting rules violations, the English Football Association announced in a statement Wednesday.
The FA alleged Toney broke a betting rule 232 times between Feb. 25, 2017, and Jan. 23, 2021. Toney has until next Thursday to respond.
Rule E8, which the FA claims Toney violated, covers a wide range of betting-related situations. This includes betting "either directly or indirectly" on football matches, player transfers, manager hires and other matters related to teams. The rule also forbids players from relaying non-public information to others who then use that knowledge "for, or in relation to, betting." Players can't advertise or promote any betting activity either, even when they act in a personal capacity.
It's unclear which part of Rule E8 the FA believes Toney violated.
In a statement released by Brentford, the club added that it "has been in discussion with Ivan and his legal representatives about this matter and those conversations will continue privately." Toney has not publicly commented on the charges, either, though he did say earlier this month that he was "assisting the FA with their inquiries" during their investigation.
Toney, 26, has enjoyed a solid season with Brentford, his third with the club. He's tallied 10 goals in 14 Premier League appearances and Brentford sits 10th in the table as the league heads into the World Cup break.
Despite this year's success, Toney was not named to England's World Cup squad. Manager Gareth Southgate denied the investigation into Toney played a role in that decision.
"I’ve not had that conversation because he wasn’t in our squad," Southgate said on Nov. 11. "For us, September was a good opportunity to have a look at Ivan on the training pitch, to learn a bit more about him, for him to see how we work. We knew and had discussed with him it was a long shot to be involved at this time in a World Cup."
Toney's potential punishment
A look at other EPL stars who've been charged with similar violations could shed light on what punishment or punishments could befall Toney:
In 2016, Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis was fined £22,058 (around $26,200) for placing 29 bets over a two-month period that year.
In 2018, the FA banned Burnley midfielder Joey Barton for 18 months and fined him £30,000 (around $35,00) for placing 1,260 bets over a 10-year period.
Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was fined £150,000 (around $178,000) and banned for four months in 2020 for providing inside information in 2018 on potential transfer moves.
Former Atlético Madrid defender Kieran Trippier was suspended for 10 weeks and fined £70,000 (around $83,000) in 2020 for providing inside information for others to place bets on his move from Tottenham to Atlético Madrid.
What happens to Toney could be revealed in the coming months.