Brentford boss Thomas Frank has described Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola as the best coach in the modern era and an inspiration ahead of Sunday’s game at the Gtech Community Stadium.

City’s recent Premier League title win was their fifth under Guardiola’s stewardship and they will look to build on that in the FA Cup and Champions League finals next month.

Frank, whose side won at City in November, talked up treble-chasing Guardiola’s impact on the game which he admitted has inspired him during his managerial career.

“He’s top class, after the game he said it was well deserved (Brentford’s win). I only come across him when he shows class all the way through and I look forward to congratulating him on winning the Premier League,” Frank said.

“Many people have spoken about Pep Guardiola for good reasons. I think he is in the modern era, the best coach, most innovative, he’s developed the game massively.

“I studied him a lot when he was at Barcelona and followed him closely, I’ve been inspired by his work and he’s definitely an inspiration.”

Brentford will have to deal with record-breaking striker Erling Haaland, who has netted 36 Premier League goals in his debut campaign.

Frank lauded the 22-year-old for his impact on English football since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

“Haaland added a different dimension to City, he is so good in the box,” Frank added.

“If you see the disallowed goal against Brighton he makes four or five movements before the cross comes in, it’s very rare for me to see this from a striker.

“He’s always on the move which is so difficult to defend against, he is also always focussed and believes the ball will come in for every chance.

“A top finisher who can use the left foot, right foot and header but I think the biggest thing he’s given them is the pace in behind.

“I think it’s very impressive the amount of goals he’s scored which has destroyed the Premier League and there is probably even more to come.

“I know he broke the record this year and he’ll probably break it again next year.”

Frank highlighted the quality in City’s squad as he tried to predict which line-up Guardiola will pick.

He said: “They have 22 unbelievable players so who is the best? (Ruben) Dias or (Aymeric) Laporte? I don’t know that, I am not sure even Pep knows that, that’s two top players.

“Who’s on the wing? (Jack) Grealish, (Phil) Foden, (Riyad) Mahrez or (Bernardo) Silva? I myself wouldn’t know who to pick so they put world-class players out there and we need to top perform, our fans need to top perform and we need to finish off the season in style.”

Thomas Frank admitted Ivan Toney made mistakes but questioned the Football Association’s decision to ban him from training for four months as part of his suspension for betting rule breaches.

Toney pleaded guilty to 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules and has been banned from football for eight months and is not allowed to train with Brentford until half of the term has been served on September 17.

Frank jumped to Toney’s side as Brentford adjust to being without their 20-goal striker for the first half of the 2023-24 campaign.

The Brentford boss said: “Yes, Ivan did something wrong but what I don’t get at all is how can you not let him be involved in football at all for the first four months?

“What do you gain from that? If you want to rehabilitate people you give them education, you do something, and now he is left on his own.

“There’s no doubt for me that the first four months he could be involved in football, he should be forced to go into a hundred schools to tell them about his football and background, that’s how it should work, but I’m a football coach, what do I know?

“If I can’t speak to him, then they will have to ban me. If I am not allowed to speak to him on a support level there must be something wrong. I think you’re allowed to contact people even when they’re in prison aren’t you? So I think I’m allowed.”

Toney’s ban was reduced by the independent regulatory commission after he was diagnosed with a gambling addiction by a psychiatry expert.

In March Brentford were reported to be considering cutting ties with Hollywood Bets who have been their main kit sponsor since July 2021.

And Frank discussed the link between football and gambling sponsors and called for better ways to support players.

“I think it’s definitely something we need to look into,” Frank added.

“The cleaner the football industry could be, the better.

“Ivan has made some mistakes, now we need to get through that and we will support him. But there is no doubt that football and gambling’s relationship need to be reviewed and I think we can only look at ourselves first.

“We got a massive reminder (Toney ban), do we do enough to educate our players? I think that’s a big thing, I think the football authorities have a massive task to make sure we do this much better.”

Brentford host treble-chasing Manchester City at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday where a win depending on other results could see them qualify for the Europa Conference League – the Bees are ninth and trail seventh-placed Aston Villa by two points.

“I believe that anything can happen in football,” Frank said.

“I had a big belief before the season that we’ll do top 10, of course I didn’t know (that Brentford would be contending for Europe) but I am so pleased we are in the mix and have a chance. But we just need to beat the best team in the world.”

Ivan Toney has a gambling addiction, an independent regulatory commission has found.

The written reasons for the eight-month betting ban imposed on the Brentford forward were published on Friday and it found Toney had bet on himself to score in addition to betting on his own club to lose during a four-year period.

It did state, however, that: “There is no evidence that Mr Toney did or was even in a position to influence his own team to lose when he placed bets against them winning – he was not in the squad or eligible to play at the time.”

Toney was charged with 262 betting offences in November and was last week banned from all football activity until January 17 after he admitted 232 breaches.

An independent regulatory commission imposed Toney’s sanctions, which included a £50,000 fine, following a personal hearing and he is not able to train with club side Brentford until September 17.

Psychiatrist Dr Philip Hopley attended Toney’s personal hearing and diagnosed that Toney has a gambling addiction.

“The commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by Dr Hopley,” the written reasons document said.

“The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction.

“The present case is not one of match-fixing. If it was, the charges would have been pursued under different provisions.

“There is no evidence that Mr Toney did or was even in a position to influence his own team to lose when he placed bets against them winning – he was not in the squad or eligible to play at the time.”

Bryan Mbeumo was happy to step up for Brentford in the absence of Ivan Toney in their 3-1 win at Tottenham.

The Bees were without 20-goal striker Toney, who has also been nursing a hamstring injury, after he was handed an eight-month ban by the Football Association on Thursday for repeated betting breaches.

When Harry Kane fired Spurs into an early lead, it looked like Brentford’s faint hopes of European football were about to end but Mbeumo struck twice in a 12-minute period at the start of the second half before setting up Yoane Wissa for the visitors’ third late on.

“Yeah, sensational. I can’t say more than this,” Mbeumo told BT Sport.

“The first half was a bit sloppy from us, in the duels we were not maybe there but in the second half everybody raised the level and it is a fantastic win.

“Of course it is hard because we lose a big personality on the pitch (in Toney) and yeah we have to do it as a team but I am happy to score.

“I always push myself as hard as I can and yeah, I want to push the level. I am very hard on myself but I am happy.

“We want to aim high, be high on the table and we still have one chance so we will do everything we can.”

Mbeumo received praise from manager Thomas Frank after he scored his eighth and ninth goals of the campaign.

Frank added: “He works so hard, is a fantastic pressing player and can score goals, assist and link up, but maybe he lacked goals (last season).

“Probably a little bit unlucky in some situations because he hit the post seven times last year so we’re talking about margins there.

“He does work very, very hard at his finishing and especially with Justin Cochrane but also Kevin O’Connor on those two finishes he made. So, I was very pleased to see his hard work pay off.”

Brentford’s win means they are guaranteed a ninth-place finish but victory on the final day at home to champions Manchester City could secure Europa Conference League football.

Frank knows revenge will be on the mind of Pep Guardiola’s side after they stunned them at the Etihad in November.

“We know we need Tottenham and (Aston) Villa to drop points on the last day when we are facing the best team in the world,” Frank smiled.

“So, it is a little bit of a challenge but we will do everything we can to make an absolutely outstanding season even better.”

Spurs’ acting head coach Ryan Mason was left bitterly disappointed by their latest defeat with their goals against tally now standing at 62, their worst in a Premier League campaign since 2003.

He admitted: “Obviously we’re conceding a lot of goals for different reasons.

“I thought we showed a lot of courage in the first half. We were brave, played a good match with the ball but in the second half the intensity dropped.”

Ryan Mason played down fears about the future of Tottenham vice-captain Harry Kane after a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Brentford.

Kane’s 30th goal in all competitions put Spurs ahead after eight minutes, but the visitors turned the game around after the break through Bryan Mbeumo’s double and Yoane Wissa’s late goal.

It ensured Tottenham suffered a 14th defeat of a poor campaign in their final home fixture, which ended with the players doing a lap of honour in front of largely empty seats.

Vice-captain Kane waved to the fans who had stayed and uncertainty remains over his future with only one more year left on his deal at Spurs.

But Mason insisted: “He waves at the crowd every season.

“I remember sitting here two years ago and you guys were convinced he was leaving, saying the same thing.

“It’s the last home game of the season so he wants to show his appreciation to the support he’s received and we’ve all received this season.”

Spurs had impressed during the opening 45 and Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal, Arnaut Danjuma and Dejan Kulusevski all went close before half-time.

No second goal occurred for the hosts and Mbeumo’s quickfire brace after the break proved crucial.

Mason added: “This is the Premier League. You have to be ready for the whole game.

“I thought the first half we played a very good match, had a few opportunities to score a couple more, but of course in the second half the intensity dropped and we were punished.”

Back-to-back defeats have damaged Tottenham’s hopes of securing European football next season and there were further chants for chairman Daniel Levy to leave during his latest loss.

Mason admitted it hurt to see so many fans depart before the lap of honour but urged the club to commit to a philosophy this summer in its search for a new head coach and managing director of football.

“Of course (it hurts). It is understandable because of how probably the second two-thirds of the season have gone on and off the pitch but ultimately we know the fans will be there next season,” Spurs’ acting head coach insisted.

“This club will keep moving forward and now is the time where we need to be stronger than ever and believe in what we’re going to do, commit to it and have people that are committed to it.

“And I always say in football things can change very quickly and the energy can change quickly.

“There are many different conversations that need to happen, but ultimately, I have said it quite a bit, we need to commit to something and be consistent with it.

“Then have people, staff and players here who are committed to it too and I think that transfers to everyone else. That is what we need.”

Brentford were able to toast a milestone victory that means they have now defeated each member of the ‘big six’ during their first two seasons in the Premier League.

This fine win also ensured the Bees’ finished a difficult week on a high note after 20-goal forward Ivan Toney was hit with an eight month ban from all football activity on Thursday for repeated betting breaches.

“I think it is unbelievable and remarkable,” Frank said of Brentford’s top-six feat.

“For a newly promoted team over two seasons to beat all of the top-six teams must be quite unique so yes, of course we’re proud of that.

“We’ve already talked about (Ivan). To replace 20 goals in the Premier League is not easy but we actually have good players in the squad that can score goals and every single time Wissa is playing instead of Ivan he scores goals.

“He did that today and Kevin, he will score goals because he is such a threat going in behind.

“Of course the big praise is to Bryan today. He is growing more and more to be a key player for us.”

Tottenham’s disappointing campaign took another turn for the worse after Bryan Mbeumo’s second-half brace earned Brentford a fine 3-1 win at their London rivals.

Harry Kane’s early opener gave Spurs the perfect start in their quest to stay in the hunt for Europa League football, but the visitors turned the tables with an impressive display after the break.

Mbeumo grabbed a quickfire brace to help fill the void of Ivan Toney, who on Thursday received an eight-month ban from all football activities from the FA for betting breaches.

Yoane Wissa then sealed the victory late on for Thomas Frank’s side with Spurs suffering a 14th defeat of the Premier League season and leaving the pitch to boos after another match with more chants for chairman Daniel Levy to leave the club.

Tottenham’s loss at Aston Villa last weekend had added to the glum mood around club, but the sun was shining for this final home fixture of the season and Ryan Mason rung the changes.

Attackers Arnaut Danjuma and Dejan Kulusevski earned recalls while the fit-again Yves Bissouma made his first start since January with Spurs’ acting head coach reverting to the 4-2-3-1 formation he used in 2021.

Chairman Levy used his programme notes to acknowledge the season struggles but promised to bring “on-pitch success” after a chaotic campaign.

One of Levy’s many key decisions this summer – alongside hiring a new head coach and managing director of football – is to try and convince Kane to commit his long-term future to Spurs.

After eight minutes Tottenham’s vice-captain provided yet another reminder of his importance.

Oliver Skipp, another academy graduate, won a free-kick around 25-yards out and Kulusevski teed up Kane to curl over the wall and beyond David Raya for his 30th goal in all competitions.

It was the perfect start for the hosts and Son Heung-min was the next to go close but Raya denied him after Kane’s pass.

The strong opening period by Tottenham was not enough to prevent the first round of ‘Levy out’ chants from the South Stand with 23 minutes played to mark his number of years at the club.

A second goal for the hosts should have followed immediately after but Emerson Royal’s header was brilliantly cleared off the line by Rico Henry after good work by Kulusevski and Son.

Mathias Jensen side-footed over for Brentford minutes later but Spurs remained in the ascendancy and Danjuma headed wide before Ben Mee thwarted Son with a vital block.

Kulusevski, impressive in the number 10 role, ended the half with a firm near-post effort that Raya pushed over to ensure it stayed 1-0 at the break.

Bees boss Frank had seen enough and introduced Mikkel Damsgaard for the second half, which paid dividends straight away.

It was Damsgaard who fed the ball into Yoane Wissa and he passed into the path of Mbeumo, who cut inside from the right and curled into the bottom corner to level in the 50th minute.

While Kane blazed over after another Kulusevski through ball minutes later, Brentford had their tales up now and grabbed a second with 62 on the clock.

Aaron Hickey played a superb ball down the right and Mbeumo raced away and dribbled into the area before side-footing into the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the campaign.

More chants for chairman Levy to leave the club followed but only after Lucas Moura had been introduced for his farewell appearance.

Mason turned to Pedro Porro and Richarlison next with the latter having half-hearted penalty appeals waved away before Wissa wrapped up the points.

Shandon Baptise robbed the ball off Skipp and Mbeumo teed up Wissa, who curled home for his seventh goal this season.

There was still time for nine minutes of stoppage-time and Raya to produce two outstanding saves to deny Richarlison before the full-time whistle was met with boos before chants urging Kane to stay amid uncertainty over his long-term future.

Thomas Frank said the uncertainty that hung over Ivan Toney and Brentford due to the striker’s FA charge of breaking gambling rules was allowed to run on for too long.

Toney was charged with 262 betting offences in November and December last year, with the 27-year-old admitting to 232 of them in February, but it took until Wednesday for an eight-month ban from football to be handed down.

The England cap has scored 20 of his team’s 54 Premier League goals this season as Brentford have consolidated in the top half during their second top-flight campaign, but will now not be available to play for the Bees until January 2024.

Frank, whose side begin life without their top scorer away to Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime, feels the processing of Toney’s case could have been handled more quickly.

“Yes (it took too long),” said Frank. “I don’t know how you can do it shorter, I don’t know the processes, how you get through that and how you do it shorter. But as a general principal, uncertainty for everyone in the world is the worst thing.

“If you know, now you go to whatever court, or you get the job or you don’t get the job. That’s the worst thing. I don’t know if it could be done shorter.”

Brentford are yet to receive a full report from the Football Association detailing its verdict, whilst the club said it is waiting for clarification on the finer points of the ban including what presence if any Toney can have at the Bees’ training ground.

The ban extends to training with his team-mates up until September.

Despite the lengthy suspension Frank backed the striker, who broke into Gareth Southgate’s England squad earlier in the season, to return to his best once the punishment has been served.

“I’m convinced that he will come back stronger. All the times he had setbacks or someone didn’t believe in him in his career, he’s overcome that and every single time showed the world that he is a good footballer and he can play to a high level.

“It’s impressive with the career he’s had and the pathway he’s been taking that he’s now scored 20 goals in the Premier League and got his full debut in the England team. I’m convinced with his mentality that he will come back stronger. We will do everything we can to support him to come back.”

The suspension has again raised questions about football’s relationship with the gambling industry, particularly after the Premier League announced in April its intention to ban betting firms from advertising on the fronts of clubs’ shirts.

Brentford are one of eight top-flight clubs currently sponsored by betting companies, and Frank said that in light of Toney’s suspension it poses a problem that football authorities must solve.

“There is an issue that we need to address,” he said. “Where is the perfect balance? Can football just say no, to not have any relationship with any betting companies? I don’t know, that’s not for me to answer.

“I’m trying to win a football match tomorrow. But there is an issue somewhere that we need to address, no doubt about that.”

On Toney’s future at the club, he added: “(Contract discussions) are an ongoing talk we have with all our players, internally first then with key players when they hit that mark around two years left. Do we let the contract run out or do we want to extend it?

“Probably Ivan is in the bracket of players that we would like to extend and keep of course. He’s a top player for us. That’s something we need to consider.”

Nottingham Forest groundsman Ewan Hunter and Brentford’s goalkeeping coach Manu Sotelo have been banned and fined by the Football Association following their pre-match altercation in November.

Hunter and Sotelo had an argument ahead of the 2-2 Premier League draw which centred on the length of time clubs are allowed to use the penalty area during their warm-up.

The member of the groundstaff went on to the pitch to move them on, but disrupted a drill.

Bees boss Thomas Frank claimed after the match that Sotelo was injured while Hunter claimed to have his personal safety threatened.

The FA has sanctioned both men, with Hunter banned from the City Ground for two matches, while Sotelu must serve a one-match touchline ban.

A statement from the governing body read: “Nottingham Forest’s grounds manager and Brentford’s goalkeeping coach have been suspended and fined following an incident that happened before their game on Saturday 5 November 2022 in the Premier League.

“Ewan Hunter denied that his behaviour was improper and/or violent, but an independent Regulatory Commission found the charge against him to be proven, and it imposed a two-match stadium ban and £700 fine.

“Manu Sotelo accepted that his behaviour was improper, and the independent Regulatory Commission imposed a one-match touchline ban and £2,000 fine.”

Thomas Frank said Ivan Toney’s future will be at Brentford after the striker was handed an eight-month ban for gambling offences.

The 27-year-old was found by the Football Association to have committed 232 breaches of its betting rules between 2017 and 2021.

It means Brentford’s top scorer will now not play again until January 2024, with the suspension also prohibiting him from working with his team-mates at the club’s training ground until September.

The FA indicated on Thursday it will apply to FIFA to have the ban extended worldwide, thereby ruling out the possibility of Toney being loaned abroad for the duration.

He has scored 20 of Brentford’s 54 Premier League goals this season as well as having made his debut for Gareth Southgate’s England side in what has been a breakthrough year for the former Peterborough forward.

Despite the suspension, Frank indicated that Toney will still have a future at the Gtech Stadium, though the club are awaiting clarification on the finer points of the punishment.

“I’ve been in contact with him. He’s disappointed and sad about the situation,” said Frank. “His future is with Brentford, there’s no doubt about that.

“We are waiting for the information so we know what we can do. What he’s allowed to do, especially for the first four months.

“One thing is for sure, we will do everything to be there for him, support him and be aware of the mental health in it.

“He’s made some mistakes, but we need to be there, and want to be there, for him and help him. We just need to know what we are allowed to do.”

Toney was first charged with 262 betting offences in November and December, with the FA later withdrawing 30 of the charges. He admitted to the remaining 232 in February, but it took a further three months for the punishment to be decided upon.

The charges stretch back to when he was a Newcastle player on loan at Scunthorpe and cover his time at Peterborough and his first years at Brentford.

Frank was asked for his views on the link between football and the gambling industry, particularly since Brentford carry the name of an online gambling site on their shirts.

He said that owing to the length of the ban, it was important that the club consider the mental health implications for the England striker.

“It is a challenge, for me personally, all the advertising for gambling done by clubs (and) individuals in the game, I think that’s an issue,” he said.

“I don’t know the full details of how much support or education the authorities provide. I know the Premier League and FA have a lot of initiatives in place that try to educate people out there.

“Education is the key thing. Across the world, education is the number one thing if you want to change a culture and mindset. That takes a lot of hard work and patience.

“We need to be aware of the mental health in this. Ivan is a footballer but he is also a human being that has family, a partner, young children, a mum and dad, siblings and friends and he has been on the front pages quite a lot.

“We need to do whatever to support him in that aspect.”

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is serving an eight-month ban after admitting 232 breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules.

The 27-year-old – who has scored 68 goals in 124 appearances for Thomas Frank’s side – will not be able to play again until January 17, 2024.

Here, the PA news agency assesses the significance of his loss for Brentford and England.

Bees’ talisman

Toney is enjoying the best season of his career so far, having scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances and making his long-awaited England debut.

His tally represents 37 per cent of Brentford’s total of 54 goals, the third highest share behind Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (39 per cent) and Tottenham’s Harry Kane (42 per cent).

Toney’s importance to the Bees is clear – as well as being the leading scorer this season, he is top for shots (94), third for assists (four) and fourth for minutes played (2,953).

He has been the club’s top scorer in all three seasons since joining in 2020, netting 31 goals to help them gain promotion from the Championship in his first season and backing that up with 12 in the Premier League last term.

Mbeumo to step up?

It is difficult to assess Brentford’s prospects without their talisman because he has started the vast majority of league games – 109 out of 120 – since his arrival.

The Bees have won 46, drawn 33 and lost 30 matches when Toney has been named in the 11, averaging 1.57 points per game.

Their record without Toney in the starting line-up is not as good, with four wins, three draws and four losses equating to 1.36 points per game.

Frank’s men appeared to have coped better in his absence this season, albeit across a small sample size, having recorded wins over West Ham and Liverpool and a draw with Nottingham Forest.

Bryan Mbeumo scored in each of those matches, despite contributing only four goals in 33 appearances with Toney alongside him.

The Bees’ performance against the Hammers in Toney’s absence on Sunday was especially encouraging, with an impressive attacking display producing a total of 24 shots – the most they have managed in a single game this season.

Plenty of options for Southgate

Toney’s form had moved him into pole position as England’s second-choice centre-forward behind Harry Kane, but manager Gareth Southgate will have no shortage of alternatives in his absence.

The 27-year-old made his international debut against Ukraine in March, becoming the first Brentford player to be capped by England since Les Smith in 1939.

However, with fellow strikers Callum Wilson (17), Marcus Rashford (16) and Ollie Watkins (14) also ranking in the top 10 for Premier League goals this season, Toney could face an uphill struggle to regain his place in the squad.

The Football Association is expected to ask FIFA to extend Ivan Toney’s ban globally unless an appeal leads to the suspension being overturned.

As things stand the 27-year-old will not be able to play again until January 17 next year after he was banned for eight months by an independent regulatory commission for admitting 232 breaches of FA betting rules.

The PA news agency understands the FA could only apply to FIFA for a worldwide extension if a ban is still in place once the appeals process is complete.

Once the written reasons in the case are published, both parties have a window of time to issue an intention to appeal. Only once that window closes without an appeal, or the appeals process concludes with a ban still in place, could the FA apply to extend the ban globally.

The extension of the ban worldwide would rule out the possibility of Toney moving overseas to play on a temporary or permanent basis while any ban imposed in England is still in force.

The granting of an extension would require approval from FIFA’s own disciplinary committee, but would appear to be a formality with no obvious precedent where FIFA has refused a national association’s request to extend a ban globally.

The FA did apply to FIFA for a worldwide extension in the cases of two other English players banned over betting rule breaches – Kieran Trippier and Daniel Sturridge – while more recently FIFA accepted an application to extend a ban imposed by the Italian federation on former Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici, a decision which prompted his resignation from the north London club.

Paratici’s ban was imposed following an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at his former club Juventus.

It is unclear at this stage whether Toney – who won his first England cap in March – will appeal against the ban. He said he was “naturally disappointed” about the sanction in a statement issued on Wednesday, but said he would await the publication of the commission’s written reasons concerning the case before commenting further.

The FA is also awaiting the written reasons.

Toney will be allowed to return to training on September 17, four months before the playing ban expires.

The ban takes effect immediately, meaning Toney is out of Brentford’s final two Premier League matches this season starting with the game against Tottenham on Saturday.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been hit with an eight-month ban after admitting breaches of betting rules.

Toney was charged by the Football Association last November for 262 alleged breaches over a four-year period.

The 27-year-old – who made his long-awaited England debut in March – admitted to 232 of the counts, with 30 having been subsequently withdrawn.

Following a personal hearing an independent regulatory commission imposed Toney’s sanctions, which included a £50,000 fine.

He will not be able to play until January 17, 2024, but can train with Brentford from September 17.

“Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of the FA’s betting rules,” an FA statement read.

“The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 in total between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232.

“His sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023.”

The written reasons behind the decision of the independent regulatory commission are to be published “in due course” and will be reviewed by both the FA and Brentford.

The Bees chose to make no further comment and will be “considering our next steps”, which could include an appeal against the suspension.

Toney scored 20 Premier League goals for the Bees this season, but will now sit out the remaining two matches – at Tottenham and then home to leaders Manchester City – as Thomas Frank’s side look to consolidate a top-10 finish.

The loss of Toney, though, is likely to be more keenly felt at the start of the next campaign.

Speaking last December following the announcement of the FA’s charges, Frank had been questioned on what the club might do should Toney end up facing a lengthy suspension.

“We don’t have anything specific lined up if something should happen,” Frank said.

“We are always in the market, we always try to improve the squad so, of course, we are aware of players out there and we have a plan we are following, but no specific one for potentially replacing Ivan.”

Brentford forward Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity for eight months, the Football Association has announced.

Toney was charged by the FA in November for 262 alleged breaches of betting rules over a four-year period and has now discovered his punishment.

Bees forward Toney will be banned until January 16th and has been fined £50,000 after he admitted to 232 of the alleged breaches.

“Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of The FA’s Betting Rules,” an FA statement read.

“The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 in total between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232. “

An independent regulatory commission imposed Toney’s sanctions and he will not be allowed to train with his Brentford team-mates until September 17.

The one-cap England forward has scored 21 goals in 35 appearances for Brentford this season.

The FA statement continued: “His sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent Regulatory Commission following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023.

“The independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons for these sanctions will be published in due course, and The FA will wait to review them before commenting further.”

David Moyes believes West Ham have been on the wrong end of too many strange VAR decisions.

Having been denied penalties for handballs against Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks, the Hammers had a goal contentiously ruled out in their 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

When Said Benrahma’s cross came back off a post it hit Divin Mubama, who had put his hand up to prevent himself from crashing into the woodwork.

Manuel Lanzini swept the ball back into the box to leave Dany Ings with a tap-in to halve the deficit with 25 minutes remaining.

But referee Michael Oliver went to the pitchside monitor and ruled that young striker Mubama had handled the ball.

“Very strange,” said Hammers boss Moyes. “The Premier League have come out and called it deliberate handball. I think we need a bit of explanation on that.

“The first thing I would say about it is it is inconclusive. If anything I think it hits his shoulder, right on his collarbone.

“If it’s a handball that leads to a goal we all know that rule, but I certainly don’t see deliberate. If anything he might be protecting himself from going into the post. I’m amazed it was chalked off.

“But, let’s be fair, if this was the first one we were talking about in recent games I would say it can happen, but we’re now talking about three of these.

“It’s getting regular. It really is. I don’t want to get in trouble but we’ve had three real ones that could have altered things, and if you said we’ve had our fair share, I’m saying I don’t think we have.”

In truth Brentford, leading through first-half goals from Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa, could have been four or five up by the time Ings’ goal was disallowed.

Moyes’ priorities clearly lie elsewhere despite not being mathematically safe from relegation, with the Hammers boss making nine changes to his side ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar.

However, if Moyes was hoping to be given some selection dilemmas for the trip to the Netherlands, he was left sorely disappointed.

Mbeumo pounced after a mistake by Nayef Aguerd and Wissa headed the second after West Ham failed to deal with Mathias Jensen’s long throw.

“I didn’t enjoy the performance. I thought we were soft, easy to play against. It was so poor,” added Moyes.

“We did some work on defending long throws, but you wouldn’t have thought it watching that today. I’m so disappointed the players didn’t deal with it.”

The Bees are now assured of a top-10 finish, proving there is no such thing as second-season syndrome in this corner of west London.

“I was asked before the season about that,” said boss Thomas Frank, “and without sounding too smart we tried to analyse things, looked at the players, the other teams, our performances, our culture, and we thought why shouldn’t we be able to do well in our second season?

“Now we are 100 per cent in the top 10, which is a brilliant achievement.”

Thomas Frank is convinced one-time Liverpool target Kevin Schade will become a key player for Brentford.

The Bees travel to Anfield on Saturday, with German international Schade still waiting for his first goal in England since a January switch from Freiburg.

Attacker Schade moved to Brentford on an initial loan but is expected to make the transfer permanent in the summer despite previous interest from Liverpool.

While the 21-year-old has failed to score in 15 appearances for the west London club and missed an open goal in a recent draw with Aston Villa, his manager has no doubts about his potential.

“Kevin is a young player that needs a lot of development but he has shown very good signs of what he is capable of,” Frank said.

“I am convinced he will be a very good player for us in the future. That is who we are. We need to develop players that can go to the next level and hopefully Kevin is one of them.

“That would be a nice story (to score against Liverpool). I understand why he would have been linked with them. I think he would fit their style so I’m pleased he came to us.”

Frank accepted had Liverpool “really, really” chased Schade he may have ended up on Merseyside, but the forward himself revealed in his interview with Brentford’s website upon signing earlier this year that he wanted to join a team where he would play.

The Bees boss also feels it is a compliment if they are bringing in players tracked by top-six clubs.

Frank said: “I think if Liverpool really, really went for him he would be out of reach for us.

“On the flipside, when you go to a club you like to have a decent chance for getting playing minutes.

“There is no doubt he needs playing minutes before he can go to the next level potentially, but of course it is nice we get players who are linked to other clubs because it also shows that other clubs can see the potential of the player.”

Schade will aim to help Brentford secure a first ever double over Liverpool this weekend, but the Reds are currently on a lengthy unbeaten home run in the Premier League.

Leeds were the last top-flight club to visit Anfield and win back in October, with Klopp’s side currently on a five-match winning streak in pursuit of an unlikely top-four finish.

Frank has masterminded victories at Manchester City and Chelsea this season in addition to a draw at Arsenal in March, but knows the size of the task on Saturday.

“Probably, when it is rocking, Anfield is the most difficult away ground to go to,” he said.

“As we experienced last year, we lost 3-0 and it was a clear defeat so we have a mountain to climb on Saturday. Flipside is we also believe we can do something in any game.

“We have confidence and we have belief, but we also know that Liverpool is a team that against Tottenham is 3-0 up after 13 minutes, against Man United, in such a big game, big rivalry, with everything at stake, they won 7-0. So we need to be absolutely on it.

“We need a top performance from us to go there and win.”

Frank has confirmed Christian Norgaard (Achilles) and Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) are unlikely to play again this season.

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