Burnley boss Sean Dyche has argued the 18-month ban imposed on Joey Barton is "harsh" on the day the Football Association published their reasons for suspending the midfielder following betting breaches.
The FA imposed the punishment on the 34-year-old yesterday in relation to Barton making 1,260 bets on matches between March 2006 and May 2016, with a regulatory commission arguing an 18-month ban was "not out of kilter" with previous betting cases and was the "shortest possible sanction" that could have been handed out.
Barton re-signed for the Clarets on a short-term deal in January, when Burnley made financial provisions for the possibility of such a big suspension, and although he will appeal, he accepts his playing career has now likely been brought to an end.
Dyche believes the severity of the punishment for Barton was rough when considering the bans awarded for other offences, such as the nine-month suspension ex-Manchester United striker Eric Cantona was awarded for attacking a fan in 1995.
"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 that have happened in football.
"One of the most obvious was the legend that is Eric Cantona kung-fu kicking someone - he got a nine-month ban.
"We know the rules, I must make that clear, and he knows that. But the FA made it quite clear there's no intent other than his own personal gambling, his integrity is intact, it's just his own personal situation - you think 18 months seems a long time to me.
"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," he added.