Sean Dyche believes the length of the ban handed out by the Football Association to midfielder Joey Barton over betting offences is harsh.
Barton was given an 18-month suspension after admitting an FA charge – although the 34-year-old plans to appeal against the severity of the ban.
Dyche fully accepts that Barton was in the wrong, but believes the scale of the punishment did not necessarily reflect the nature of the offences, which were committed before the player re-joined the Clarets for a second spell in January.
And the Burnley boss hopes the FA will now start to clamp down more severely on playing issues, notably diving and feigning injury.
Dyche said: “We know the rules. Joey knew the rules, let’s make that clear. Everyone knows you don’t gamble on football when you’re in football.
“There’s no trying to swerve what the incident is. It’s the outcome of that and we fully accept the FA's decision.
“But I must make it clear, as Joey has in his statement, his integrity is clear.
“There’s no pointed fingers at anything other than his personal bets on a game. No angles of consortium betting, no angles of trying to change results – just his personal betting on a game.
“When you look at some of the other incidents down the years in football – time-wise or games-wise – I still think it’s a little bit harsh.
“The FA have a role and we respect that decision. They’re obviously showing strength in these decisions.
“The overriding thing I hope is the FA seem to be gripping hold of these things and I can only presume they move onto the cheating in the game, which I have spoken about endlessly.
“I presume the powers-that-be will start looking at that, using video evidence and retrospective banning.
“I think it’s never been more needed than now. I think you call it simulation but I like to be a bit more blunt and call it the truth, which is cheating.”
Barton’s ban from all footballing activities ends his season immediately, with the former Manchester City, Newcastle United and QPR midfielder saying the length of his enforced absence – as it stands – effectively pushes him into an early retirement.
It also brings an end to his second spell at Turf Moor after 14 appearances in the Premier League this season, in which he has helped Burnley into a position five points clear of the relegation places with just four games to go.
“He’s been a good character to have around. He’s delivered for us on and off the pitch, both as a professional and as a club man,” added Dyche, who initially signed the former England international as a free agent in August, 2015.
“He’s definitely helped on the journey, from last season through that fantastic season and into this one where are working hard to finish it off in the correct way.
“He’s definitely played his part. I have spoken to him and told him to go away and look after his family, let the dust settle and get his head down.”