Ivan Toney will stay at Brentford vows Thomas Frank after striker’s eight-month football ban
Brentford boss Thomas Frank says the club must protect Ivan Toney's mental health during his eight-month ban from playing, and has insisted the striker's future remains with the Bees.
On Wednesday, Toney was suspended until January 2024 and fined £50,000 by an independent panel after admitting 232 breaches of Football Association (FA) betting rules.
The ban only applies in England but the FA, who are still awaiting the panel's written reasons, will apply to extend it worldwide to prevent Toney seeking a loan move to a different country.
Toney has also been banned from training with Brentford for the first four months of the suspension, until mid-September, and the club is still waiting to discover exactly what the 27-year-old will be able to do.
But Frank, who confirmed that the 20-striker would have missed the final two games of the season with a hamstring injury anyway, said Brentford will "do everything" to support Toney.
"We have been in contact with him. First and foremost he is disappointed and sad about the situation," Frank told a news conference ahead of Saturday's London derby at Tottenham.
"We are still waiting to find out what he can do, how we can approach him, what he is allowed to do, especially the first four months.
"One thing is for sure: we'll do everything we can to be there for him, support him, beware of the mental health [aspect] in it. Of course, he's done some mistakes but we need to be there for him and want to be there to help him. We just need to know what we're allowed to do."
Toney will have just 18 months remaining on his Brentford contract when his ban is lifted but Frank says there is "no doubt" he will remain in west London, amid suggestions he could be offered a new deal to ward off interest from the likes of Chelsea.
"His future is with Brentford," said Frank, who acknowledged that Toney's England prospects had been damaged by the ban. "There's no doubt about that. Regarding what we do in the summer, we don't know yet.
"Instead of a problem, I like to call it a challenge. We were, for various reasons, prepared for what would happen if someone in that front line left us. We think, in-house, we have good replacements in [Yoane] Wissa and Kevin Schade.
"When Wissa has to step up, he scores. He scored against Liverpool when he had to step in, he scored against West Ham when he had to step in, and hopefully he will score tomorrow when he steps in. Kevin Schade is definitely as good down the middle as he is out wide.
"Every time we lost a player, we dealt with it. In many situations, we had the player inside the club. We had to replace 25-goal Neal Maupay so we transformed Ollie Watkins to a nine and he scored 28. Maybe we can do that with Wissa or Schade. It’s a challenge we are up for."