Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has admitted his career is effectively over after being suspended from football activity for 18 months.
Barton was handed the ban by the Football Association with immediate effect after he admitted a misconduct charge related to betting.
The ex-Rangers, Marseille and QPR man is alleged to have placed 1,260 bets on football matches between March 2006 and May 2013, which coincides with the time he was under contract with the Magpies, having signed in 2008 and departed under a cloud in 2012.
An FA statement read: "Joey Barton has been suspended from football and all football activity for 18-months with immediate effect after he admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting.
"It was alleged that between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, he placed 1,260 bets on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, football matches or competitions in breach of FA Rule E8.
"Following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, the Burnley midfielder was also fined £30,000 and warned as to his future conduct.
"Written Reasons will follow in due course."
The one-capped England international, currently of Burnley, replied in a lengthy online statement.
Excerpts of which, read: "The FA have announced I am banned from all football for 18 months and fined £30,000 and costs for offences against The FA’s Betting Rules. I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction. The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. To be clear from the outset here this is not match fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question.
"I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players.
"As for the scale of my football betting, since 2004, on a Betfair account held in my own name, registered at my home address and verified by my own passport, with full transparency, I have placed over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports. Just over 1,200 were placed on football and subject to the charges against me. The average bet was just over £150, many were for only a few pounds.
"Raised at the hearing was that between 2004 and 2011 I placed a handful of bets on my own team to lose matches. I accept of course that this is against the rules, for the obvious reason that a player with an additional financial stake in the game might seek to change the course of it for his own personal gain. However I’d like to offer some context.
"On the few occasions where I placed a bet on my own team to lose, I was not involved in the match day squad for any of those games. I did not play. I was not even on the bench. I had no more ability to influence the outcome than had I been betting on darts, snooker, or a cricket match in the West Indies. I should add that on some of those occasions, my placing of the bet on my own team to lose was an expression of my anger and frustration at not being picked or being unable to play. I understand people will think that is childish and selfish and I cannot disagree with that.
"Having consulted with my friends and lawyers, I have decided I will be appealing against the length of the ban."
After his statement Barton then names the 30 most 'pertinent bets' highlighted by the FA.
They include a Newcastle pre-season game against PSV in August 2008, Premier League matches against Manchester United, Chelsea, Sunderland and Hull City, as well as a League Cup clash with Tottenham in September 2008, a reserve game against Arsenal, the FA Cup loss to Stevenage and Championship clashes with Nottingham Forest and Derby County, the last time United were promoted from the second tier.