11 of the Longest Bans in Football History & Where Does Joey Barton Rank?

ank? Having previously served time in prison for assault, been found guilty of violent conduct on a football pitch several times, and getting kicked out of Rangers earlier this season, Joey Barton was slapped with an 18 month ban from football this week after years of betting offences finally caught up with him. But where does that suspension rank compared to some of the other lengthy bans dished out to football stars in the past? An early Manchester United hero who was a league title winner in...

Luis Suarez - 4 months

Prior to 2014, Luis Suarez had already served a seven-game ban for biting PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal, an eight-game ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, and a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

So when he then bit Italy centre-back Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA had little option but to throw the book at him. Suarez was handed a worldwide ban of four months, during which he left Liverpool for Barcelona in a deal worth £75m.

Vinnie Jones - 6 months (suspended)

'Crazy Gang' leader Vinnie Jones was slapped with a six month ban, suspended for three years, when the FA found the Wimbledon hard man guilty of bringing the game into disrepute for his part in the video 'Soccer Hard Men'.

Seen as celebrating violence with his voice-overs, Jones was also fined £20,000.

Kolo Toure - 6 months

Kolo Toure was on the unfortunate receiving end of a six month ban from football when he failed a drugs test during his time at Manchester City.

Toure tested positive for a banned substance after taking water pills belonging to his wife and only avoided a longer suspension after convincing an FA regulatory commission that it had not been his intention to take anything for the purpose of performance enhancing or masking the use of other performance enhancing substances.

Adrian Mutu - 7 months & 6 months

Adrian Mutu's fleeting Chelsea career came to an abrupt end in October 2004, one month after he tested positive for cocaine. He was released by the club, who soon sought compensation from the player over breach of contract, and served a seven-month ban.

Mutu got his career back on track - the compensation claims and appeals rumbled on in the background for a decade - when he signed with Juventus and then joined Fiorentina. But he failed a doping test in 2010 and was given a nine month ban that was later reduced to six.

Rio Ferdinand - 8 months

Rio Ferdinand saw his second season at Manchester United wrecked and missed Euro 2004 with England after falling foul of drug testing rules in September 2003.

The £30m centre-back failed to attend a scheduled test after forgetting about it and going shopping. By the time he remembered and returned to the club's training ground, Ferdinand was told it was too late and despite passing the next day was given an eight month ban.

He even had an independent panel to thank that it remained at just eight months as both the FA and FIFA wanted it to be increased to a full year.

Eric Cantona - 8 months

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona spent just over eight months out of the game after his infamous attack and 'kung fu kick' on an abusive Crystal Palace fan in January 1995.

Cantona was immediately fined £20,000 and internally suspended by his club for the rest of the season, much to their own detriment in the hunt for second successive domestic double. It was hoped the strong and swift action would be appreciated by the FA, but the suspension was then extended by the governing body to end of September 1995.

Cantona was even charged with criminal assault, but a two-week prison sentence was ultimately reduced to 120 hours of community service.

Mark Bosnich - 9 months

Once considered one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and the first man Manchester United trusted to try and replace Peter Schmeichel, Mark Bosnich's career completely unravelled when he served a nine month suspension in 2002.

Having left Old Trafford and joined Chelsea, the Australian stopper tested positive for cocaine and was promptly dismissed by the club. He didn't play football again for six years after briefly turning out for two clubs in his native Australia.

Diego Maradona - 15 months

Diego Maradona admitted to have started using cocaine when he arrived at Barcelona in the early 1980s and would later evade getting caught at Napoli by using a fake penis and someone else's clean urine to submit to drugs testers.

The 1986 World Cup winner eventually did fail a test in 1991, though, and was banned for 15 months as a result of his addiction. He returned to football after serving the suspension but was later thrown out of the 1994 World Cup after failing a doping test.

Joey Barton - 18 months

Professional footballers are not allowed to bet on football, any football. But Joey Barton did repeatedly and consistently between 2006 and 2016, making a total of 1,260 bets during that time, including on matches in which he actually played.

Having been found guilty by the FA in April 2017, 34-year-old Barton was fined £30,000 and banned from all football activity for a period of 18 months, effectively ending his already controversy-strewn playing career.

Don Revie - 10 years

The FA tried to impose a 10-year football ban on legendary former Leeds manager Don Revie at the end of his time in charge of the England national team in the late 1970s.

Revie missed a friendly match against Brazil in 1977 on the understanding that he was compiling a 'dossier' on Italy for another upcoming match. He was, however, in Dubai for negotiations to take over the UAE national team on a bumper four-year contract.

When he revealed to a newspaper his intention to quit as England boss and head to the gulf state, the FA charged Revie with bringing the game into disrepute and issued their lengthy ban. It was only overturned in court after the FA was deemed to have exceeded its power.

Enoch West - 30 years

An early Manchester United hero who was a league title winner in 1911, forward Enoch West was one of seven United and Liverpool players (and one Stockport County player) initially banned for life over match fixing allegations in a game in 1915.

It was concluded by the Football League that a considerable amount of money had changed hands in the shape of bets and that several players had profited from it. All were told their punishment would be rescinded if they joined the armed forces to fight in the ongoing First World War and all except West, who maintained his innocence, did just that.

Of the other seven, six returned to football after the war - Sandy Turnbull a team-mate of West's at Old Trafford was killed in the conflict. West, meanwhile, remained banned from football until 1945 when his suspension was finally lifted. He was 59-years-old by then.

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