Former Clarets midfielder Joey Barton has spoken for the first time about his 18-month FA suspension for betting offences.
Barton, released by the club at the end of the season following his ban, will be 36 by the time he is free to play again.
And he feels aggrieved at the length of the punishment, after being found to have made 1,260 bets on football over a period of 12 years.
And the one-cap England international feels the problems with gambling in the gamne run deeper than players having the odd bet.
Speaking to The Times, he said: “Five or six times every season you hear on the grapevine, ‘This has happened, that has happened, there’s going to be a (fixed) game’. In the English pyramid. You hear the results and you’re, like, ‘Yeah.’
“It’s what happens if you allow people not getting paid and clubs going into administration. All of a sudden people get desperate. (Fixing) is an evil the FA are oblivious to. We only know about the games that have been highlighted, where someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut, but how many more are there?”
“They didn’t know about me and I was betting in plain view for 12 years.
“So, I’d have to ask are they equipped to know? And do they want to know?”
And he added: “One thing footballers have in common is they love betting, because they’re competitors.
“I was an outlier on volume but there’ll be outliers on wagers staked. I’ve been in dressing rooms with players, where they’ve a hundred grand staked on mad stuff. On one bet. Scary. A lot bet massive figures.
“I’ve seen players who’ve played in World Cups go out on the pitch and not get anywhere near as much of a buzz from that, or scoring goals, as from betting on the horses.”