LONDON (Reuters) - Burnley manager Sean Dyche described midfielder Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for breaching betting rules as harsh on Thursday.
Barton, 34, received his punishment on Wednesday after admitting a Football Association charge relating to bets placed from 2006 to 2016.
“Eighteen months seems a long time to me in light of other things I’ve seen in the sport,” Dyche, whose side face Crystal Palace on Saturday, told a news conference.
“(Former Manchester United player) Eric Cantona was given a nine-month ban for a kung-fu kick.”
Former England international Barton, who plans to appeal against the ban, will not be offered another contract, Dyche said. ”We thought there was a chance, of course (of this happening). We’re not naive. Joey understood that.
”On the football side of things, we didn’t want it to get in the way of thinking he was a worthwhile player to bring back.
“We wanted to get on with it, give him a platform, and he’s done that.”
Barton returned to Burnley on a short-term deal in January for a second spell having helped them win promotion to the Premier League last season.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson