Joey Barton believes that the Football Association must alter their “zero-tolerance” approach to gambling in football after Daniel Sturridge was charged for breaching betting rules.
Liverpool striker Sturridge is now waiting to see if he will be punished after it was announced that he had been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of betting rules on Monday.
The incident dates back to January when the striker joined West Brom on loan from the Reds. A Liverpool spokesperson said on Monday: "Daniel has stated categorically that he has never gambled on football."
Barton himself was given an 18-month ban by the FA for betting offences whilst he was at Burnley in 2016.
Back in January he claimed that around 50% of footballers bet on matches and said that gambling was “culturally engrained” in the sport.
"They have to revise their approach," the Fleetwood Town boss told Sky Sports.
"The players that are getting exposed and banned for it are really the tip of the iceberg.
"There's a lot of people who have vested interest in promoting and advertising gambling, I don't think it's a problem with that.
"I just think it's a problem when we ban something that is clearly a massive part of our game and then we start banning players for it."
Goal understands that a number of bets surrounding Sturridge’s move to West Brom are under investigation. If found guilty of breaching rules, the 29-year-old could face a hefty fine and/or suspension. He has until November 20 to respond to the charge.
Barton is of the opinion that the FA should be more lenient with their regulations, adding that the current rules will always have 'casualties'.
He added: "I'm not saying we should allow betting on games because obviously it would probably hurt the integrity of the sport but I think we need to be a bit more 21st century about our approach.
"I do think the rule here is a little bit too draconian, a little bit too hard line.
"What difference does it make if a player in the Premier League is betting on the Brazilian league, how can he influence that?
"The zero-tolerance approach is clearly always going to have casualties."