Newcastle Face Tough Decision With Barton

It’s being reported today that Newcastle Chairman Chris Mort and owner Mike Ashley are contemplating whether to terminate the contract of 25-year-old Joey Barton, who was jailed for 6 months yesterday on assault charges.


Joey Barton – will he be cut by Newcastle?

In an ordinary business it would be a no-brainer and Joey would lose his job immediately, but world football is hardly an ordinary business these days.

However, as we expected Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan wants to stand by Barton, whatever happened in the court room yesterday.

Kevin wants to give him one last chance in football, and it will be the last one, if he gets it.

When Kevin came in as the new manager in January, he said:

“I can’t control what’s gone on before or the courtroom but I told him (Barton) that, as a Newcastle player, I will support him 100% and give him any help we can.”

However, this news is not putting a good light at all on our club, and remember this assault happened when he was a Newcastle player, unlike the Dabo case a year last May when he is alleged to have assaulted his Man City team-mate Dabo.

Barton’s performances on the pitch, have improved dramatically under Keegan, but in the first part of the season he was hardly a success.

We expect one of the options being considered is to cancel Barton’s contract, but keep hold of his player registration. That means that Newcastle would receive a transfer fee from any club wishing to give him a second chance.

When we signed Joey last summer, it was a questionable transfer, because of the Dabo situation, but since then he has assaulted a stranger and landed up in jail for 6 months, and that hardly seems the actions of a reformed character.

Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, hopes Newcastle will offer Barton another chance once he has served his sentence. Gordon said:

“Clearly the lad is a player with ability and there will always be clubs looking to take the chance (with players like that). I hope that is the case.”

“When somebody has paid the penalty, which Joey will have to do, every individual should be given the chance to reform themselves.”

“It’s a crying shame for a player who is clearly very gifted. When you speak to the lad in the cool, calm light of day, he can be very articulate, very sensible and intelligent.”

“He’s come from a difficult background and he has a history of problems, which we have tried to help with – and we will continue to help.”

And we know everybody loves to see somebody overcome their demons, and if Joey does get another chance at the club, we know Kevin Keegan will be helping him all he can.

Kevin has the proverbial “heart of gold” and loves his players, that’s for sure.

Unfortunately for Kevin, this decision is out of his hands.

Comments welcome.

We’ll start a poll on whether Newcastle should keep Joey Barton – please vote

66 comments so far

  • The Entertainers

    May 21, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #1

    What makes the decision difficult for myself is the fact Bartons performances have improved under KK. It would have been easier to lose the player who was under Big Sam! I would stick by him, thereby gaining a player who would appreciate the actions of the club and manager and play in the future with a point to prove. What have we got to lose now !

  • C

    May 21, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #2

    He’s finished.

  • Az

    May 21, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #3

    He should be banned from playing football IMO, the bloke is a complete knacker and will never change

  • Zhun

    May 21, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #4

    Went to jail?
    So what? Keep him

  • Hammy

    May 21, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #5

    Could be the new face of Macdonalds…..
    serving Big Wacs, Fist bites and milk breaks……

  • Hamas (51times)

    May 21, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #6

    He’s got a lot of problems…I don’t know which way to lean here.

  • Rich

    May 21, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #7

    I think we should keep him Joey Barton has bags of talent, in preseason he lookd amazing and has been getting gradually better in recent matches, if he keeps fit, he will have so much to prove and we will see the best of him, jail will change him for good in my opinion

  • Peter Waggott

    May 21, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #8

    No doubt about it in my mind – get rid of him. What sort of message does it send out to impressionable kids when Barton’s thuggery is basically rewarded with £60,000 a week of decent season ticket holder’s money? He has had enough second chances now. He must go!

  • Hamas (51times)

    May 21, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #9

    He’ll get slaughtered by opposition fans when he gets out like…

  • Davies

    May 21, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #10

    Tough call. You can’t make this kind of decision based on his improvement as a player.

    We are none of us saints, but when the nature of the offence became a bit more clear recently, I found it hard to believe that you could reform this player.

    To knock someone to the ground, climb on top of them and puch them repeatedly in the face (despite people trying to pull him away) and then assault the teenage kid that was with the person, is pretty vile.

    I think, if he is to be rehabilitated and make good, he should do it somewhere else, where he can make a fresh start.

    He needs a clean break, in both senses of the expression.

  • Charlie Bucket

    May 21, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #11

    He’s a good player and I don’t think we’ve seen his best form yet. If we let him go it could come back to haunt us. Fair enough If we keep him it could also come back to haunt us.

    It would just be typical Newcastle for him to come back at another club as a better player and score against us.

  • paulthepom

    May 21, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #12

    tough decision really.i suppose if the average bloke did it and went to prison ,his job would be not there when he came why should barton remain in employment with newcastle. people say its because he is high profile he gets alot of negative attention which is fair.but imo he is on a 50k a week contract to play football for a short spell of his life.not going out on the lash is a small price to pay for these luxuries which time again he has taken for granted.if i was his manager i would stick by him,reduce his wages to say 20k a week and if he much as farts in public again he is gone.

  • Az

    May 21, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #13

    If it was some chava off the streets of benwell did the same as Barton, every one would call him scum and tell them to lock him up and throw away the key

  • Eric

    May 21, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #14

    The bloke has got lifelong personality problems and is a self-confessed piss artist, not to mention being a convicted unrestrained thug. Is KK going through the motions of support? Is NUFC to become a rehabilitation centre for psychopaths? The yob has brought NUFC into disrepute. He was a Newcastle player when he deliberately went and got tanked up and embarked on a vicious attack on lads younger than him. He was innocent until found guilty. Now he has been convicted. Now he must get out of Newcastle itself not just the club. He is too distasteful a piece of baggage for our club to carry any longer. Kick him out of St James asap.
    Reformed character my arse. Reformable, my arse. £40,000 a week to sit in the nick waiting to return to Newcastle and play again? My arse.

  • Kash2

    May 21, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #15

    Not bothered whether he stays or goes. Our signings in the summer should, in theory, easily displace him from the team anyway. If, as has been said, we sign top top players, then Barton won’t be a first teamer!

    Simple if all that has been said does come to fruition!

  • toonarmy08

    May 21, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #16

    I believe we should keep him,his performances have improved vastly towards the end of the season.Obviously we still need to wait the outcome of the dabo incident,but as of now we should stick by him.kk obviously thinks there is potential or he would have showed him the door.Lee hughes ,jermaine pennant been to jail and been given a 2nd chance .Bowyer and woody got the same charge of affray and assault but got away with it,god knows how .He will be out in about 8wk time!

  • african-kenyan-ronniezog

    May 21, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #17

    yeah the bentertainers i agree with you guys,barton has improved a great deal under kk n i wouldnt like to loose him either.


    May 21, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #18

    I think we should keep him but im against paying his wages in the slammer.Last chance is an understatment!

  • Cyprus Mag

    May 21, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #20

    If I did what he did and went to jail for it I would rightly be sacked, btw I’m also good at my job. Why should he be treated differently? If anything it’s more important that someone in the public eye, who kids look up to, should be sacked so that the kids can see the result of bad behaviour.
    Get rid quickly and help restore Newcastle’s image.

  • Leo

    May 21, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #21

    no brainer, cancel his contract but keep his registration, i would be furious if we paid him through a jail term, i would be baying for the guy who made this decisions job.

    he made a mockery of us all as a community and a club and i have no doubt he will do it again

  • Hadji

    May 21, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #22

    After he serves the 6 months in prison he’ll be like a new man.Some people on this site give up just easily,i’m sure most of you remember Mutu and his problems.He got suspended for a year and just look at him now.

  • Arshavin4Toon

    May 21, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #23

    agree – cancel his contract but keep his player registration. then when he gets out review the situation again – either to sell him and collect the fee (unlikely) or to give him another chance is totally up to the club. afterall in pure footballing term he’s a good player and 5.8m has been paid for him anyway.

  • greg

    May 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #24

    Everyone forgave Big Duncan Ferguson.

    Just let’s get him back from jail where he’ll have learnt some humility and be focussed on making the most of this amazing opportunity in life.

    As KK says, there will be someone else ready to benefit from that if we sack him

  • Taiwantoon

    May 21, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #25

    Didn’t realise he convict the latest assult after joined us. If so, I would say sack him.

    The profession of footballer’s is not only about ability on the field. They are also the role model of young kids due to their high profile. Chelsea sacked Mutu after he was found guilty of taking drugs and Mutu is 100 times better than this thug. I would really feel shamed if he is still our player next season.

  • Eric

    May 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #26

    Is Geordie Gerrard7 suggesting we go for Zarate? He looks a good option to me. Classy.
    It seems the Mirror, Mirror on the toilet wall is saying Taylor may be wanted by West Ham. Makes a change from Spurs I suppose. We are negotiating with Taylor so is this intended to upset him, another press ruse?

  • ObaFan2

    May 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #27

    It’s up to the club, whatever they decide is good with me after all they bought him and pay his wages.

    If he reforms (big IF) he would possibly be a good role model in the same way Adams was after his jail term, admittedly for very different offences.

    Other news:

    Man City linked with Ashavrin !

    West Ham selling Ferdinand and Ashton to make way for our Taylor! Swap deal maybe !

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 21, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #28

    he wouldnt go to newcastle reserves in landannn anyway. hell yes we should be going for the zarate kid. him and turan on a wing each would be amaising

  • ChrisL

    May 21, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #29

    The press will slate us for keeping him, but if we get rid of him some other club will just pick him up & use him. If he’s good enough to earn a place in the team then I say to keep him.

  • GM

    May 21, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #30

    my opinion is that the club should stop his wages straight away, I think it would be disgusting to think that my season ticket money, shirt money etc should go towards his wages. Like has been stated above if it had been joe bloggs from Scotswood he would be sacked (if he had a job) and would have been pictured on the front of the chronicle with a headline of “scum” so for this reason I think the club should clear the decks and get shot, retaining his registration.
    How would people feel if it was their Dad/Son beaten up by him, then to see a massive club such as Newcastle keep him on on obscene wages..a person in his position on his wages should have the self control to walk away from any provocation, however quite what he was doing out on the pi55 till 5am is beyond me for a so called professional. Never liked him, never will

  • bo

    May 21, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #31

    I dont think he would have been a player that kk would have been looking to replace but now kk has to spend a chunk of the transfer kitty replacing the prick when the money needed to be spent on other areas of the team.

  • SuperShearer

    May 21, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #32

    Ed I would just like to applaud you on the above article. Every other article on this subject makes huge judgments on both Barton and Newcastle. Mr. Harrison simply highlights the options and reports on the facts. This ladies and gentlemen is professional journalism unlike much of the crap that the national papers print. I would like to thank you on all your ongoing efforts to keep us Geordie fans fully informed and up to date on our beloved club. On the more pressing matter Ed can you tell us if we have the option to not pay Barton while he is in jail or does that constitute sacking him?

  • Southside Jordy

    May 21, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #33

    keep him like

  • HeronMag

    May 21, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #34

    Everyone deserves a 2nd chance. Barton has been a top premiership player and featured internationally for England. At the same time he has been an aggressive young fool.

    I say keep him. Let him serve his time on reduced wages and when he’s out of the nick give him a last chance.

    It could make him grow as a person and this could pass onto the pitch for the toon.

    If anything ever happens again, get rid.

  • doc

    May 21, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #35



    May 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #36

    What would Man Utd and Alex Fergusons paths have been like had they sacked Cantona after the kung fu kick ?? Slightly different me thinks.

    KEEP HIM, He is the best midfielder player on our books who actually plays.

  • brian

    May 21, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #37

    Well ok, there is no way, for financial and reputation reasons, that supporting his wages is an option. Keeping the player registration is the best option. Barton needs to be encouraged to reform, cutting him loose doesn’t seem like it will help matters.

    Plus, he is a good player. Will people really take comfort in another weakened Newcastle team so long as they keep a good image? That is a nice thing to say in preseason…

  • Magpie6699

    May 21, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #38

    Said it before – get rid. He is an embarrassment and a liability. Cancel his contract and keep the money.
    Whether he’s a good player or not is irrelevant BUT – so far I can’t say he’s been that great and don’t understand why people are so desperate. He had about 2 goodish games but never looked anything but replaceable to me – if we had Emre fit and on form, Barton wouldn’t get past subs bench for me. I’d have Zog/Butt/Emre / + Milner or Geremi if we’re going 442 – and of course if we get 1 (or 2, please?) strong, creative midfielders he’d be even less likely to get on.
    He’s dispensable and far too much of a gamble. We get enough crap from the press without taking the risk – he’s had several chances and re-offended.

  • Graeme

    May 21, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #39

    Terminate his contract, keep his registration. Exactly as Chelski did with the coke head. They then sold his registration overseas to get some money back and also ensure he wouldnt be playing against them in the Prem.

    We should be doing the same. He has had about 6 second chances so far and each was used to carry on as before. He’s a thug, plain and simple.

  • seetow

    May 21, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #40

    i don’t know what you all think but i believe he is our player, and we should stick by him. period.


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