First Touch

Should Ivan Toney and Brentford part ways this summer?

Every club has to face up to a situation where they might lose their star striker to injury or even in a transfer window, but Ivan Toney’s situation at Brentford is a tough one from all perspectives. The star forward scored 20 goals in the league during the 22/23 season and appeared primed for a regular spot in the England squad and perhaps a major transfer, but then came his eight-month ban for multiple betting offenses – including betting on his own team to lose.

first touch globe

He’s made a triumphant return to the side, scoring on his first game back and it doesn’t look like he’s lost a step, but he’s also going to turn 28 in March so there’s a feeling that he’s entering his prime and if there’s a “right” time for him to move on, then it would be this Summer. Public opinion towards the striker may be lukewarm at best after he made several noises during his ban that he wanted to play for a bigger club, with many suggesting he should be more respectful to Brentford for standing by him.

There’s also a further debate to be had over gambling sponsorship in football too. Brentford themselves have “Hollywoodbets” as their main shirt sponsor and they aren’t alone, with as many as nine clubs expected to carry some kind of gambling sponsorship on their shirts this season. There have been attempts to try and cut out all offshore sports betting sponsorship completely from the game, but when the clubs are desperate to do anything that will bring some extra cash on board, that’s quite hard to achieve!

Toney’s ban was cut short due to a recognized gambling addiction as it was reduced from 13 to 8 months, and it suggests there might not be any such thing as a true safe offshore sports betting sponsor or partner for teams, as the constant reminder of gambling will only push players and fans towards placing wagers on the games and that’s how the addictions will come around.

It doesn’t feel like much has changed with the Toney case, opinions are split over whether he’s a victim or not, while the purists may say that he now owes Brentford his best years because they chose to stand by him. As we can see from the constant increase in gambling sponsorships – football is a business and it will continue to be that way, so it probably makes sense for Brentford to cash in on their key asset this summer while his price is high and Toney himself can earn a lucrative contract as he moves on. It may not be a fairytale ending to this story, but rather just a reminder that money is the key motivator in the sport today,

The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.

Scroll to Top