Toney was left out of England’s plans for Qatar 2022 as a cloud hung over him – despite netting 32 Premier League goals for Brentford in two seasons and being included in previous squads – and claims to have been the victim of a much bigger conspiracy. He has told the Diary of a CEO podcast of why he was overlooked by Gareth Southgate: “I guess it comes down to the allegations from the betting scandal. But personally, I felt like it was a bit of a questionable time when they decided to bring it all out, only to then actually deal with the situation at the end of the season. It was kind of like: 'Why did you bring it out then wait to punish me?'”
AND WHAT'S MORE
Pressed on whether the betting scandal was broken in order to keep him out of the England squad, Toney added: “I assume so, to make it a bigger story. I don't know if that's true, I'm not to know what's behind the scenes but I feel like if you have somebody going to the World Cup that's supposed to be betting - it's a bigger story. It was a bit of a coincidence when they decided to bring it all out. I feel like 'yes I'm banned now' but the biggest punishment for me was missing out on the World Cup. I felt more hurt around that time and I was down. I felt like 'someone is out to get me' to stop me playing for England. It doesn't add up in my head. It's everybody's dream to be playing at the World Cup, to miss out and then further down the line to banned as well? It's a double hit I feel. If you were gonna stop me than going to the World Cup, do it then and deal with the whole situation.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Toney was capped by England during a Euro 2024 qualifying clash with Ukraine in March 2023, but is now having to wait until January 2024 before being freed to return to training and resume his Premier League career with Brentford.