Barton ban is 'harsh', says Burnley boss Dyche

Barton was handed an 18-month ban by the FA for breaching gambling regulations. Credit: PA

Sean Dyche has labelled as "harsh" the 18-month ban handed to Burnley's Joey Barton for a breach of betting regulations.

The Football Association imposed the sanction, along with a £30,000 fine, on Wednesday for 1,260 bets the 34-year-old placed between March 2006 and May 2013, and Barton, who announced his intention to challenge the suspension, believes it will effectively end his playing career.

In the written reasons for the judgement, the FA commission insisted that an 18-month ban was the "shortest possible sanction" that could be handed down to Barton, given the "totality of his betting breaches".

Barton's short-term contract with the Clarets is up at the end of the year and Dyche, who re-signed him after he had been charged by the FA, shared his disappointment over the suspension's severity.

"He feels it's a bit harsh," Dyche said. "He's disappointed.

"We equally feel it's a bit harsh. I don't know how you balance all these different things in football.

"One of the most obvious was that the legend that is Eric Cantona kung-fu kicking something - he got a nine-month ban.

"We know the rules and I must make that clear, and he knows that. But the FA made quite clear there's no intent other than his own personal gambling, his integrity is intact, just his own personal situation... 18 months seems a long time to me.

"The FA, we understand they have a role and we respect their decision, we have to. In the bigger picture of the sport, they're obviously showing strength in these individual decisions.

"I can only assume they're going to move on to cheating, which is at a level that needs to be sorted out: diving, feigning of injury, falling to the floor. It needs to be sorted out.

"I'm sure they'll next move on to the bigger picture and the greater good of the game."