Itâ€™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:
â€œI 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.â€
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.
Bartonâ€™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 Bartonâ€™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 Footballersâ€™ 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.
We’ll start a poll on whether Newcastle should keep Joey Barton – please vote