The Daily Mail is reporting this evening, that Newcastle United plan to sack their midfield player, Joey Barton.
Joey Barton – Newcastle to sack him before end of month?
Barton is currently serving 6 months in jail, for an altercation against a stranger in Liverpool on 27th December, outside a McDonald’s Restaurant at 5:30am.
The news being reported by the Mail is that Newcastle United are willing to sack their player, unless he takes a 50% pay cut in what is thought to be his wage packet of Â£55K/week. That’s around Â£2.86M per year.
We had heard that Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan wants to keep Barton at the club, despite Joey being found guilty last month, and jailed for 6 months for assault and affray.
Kevin is currently on holiday, but the club no doubt will have been in touch with him if they are indeed to sack Barton.
The incident for which he is in jail, took place when he was a Newcastle player.
Of course Barton faces another trial at the end of the month, where he is charged with assault on his former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo last May 1st, 2007.
The Newcastle higher ups of Owner Mike Ashley, Executive Director Dennis Wise and vice-president Tony Jimenez, are not happy about this situation at all, and may dismiss Barton even before his next case begins on June 30th.
Stuart Pearce, the Manchester City manager at the time of the Dabo incident, will be a key witness for the prosecution at the Manchester Crown Court.
As well as Pearce, many of the Manchester City players who witnessed the training ground incident will also be giving evidence for the prosecution, and it doesn’t look too good for Joey.
Barton, who was signed by Sam Allardyce under protest from Chairman Chris Mort and Owner Mike Ashley last June, still has 4 years of his lucrative contract left, but Newcastle believe his conviction and imprisonment give them legal grounds to sack him for gross misconduct.
There’s not much doubt that legal precedent is on the club’s side, because in normal business employment, anybody who lands up in prison, is immediately sacked from their job.
That is usually written into their conditions of employment.
That would justifiably allow Newcastle to end Barton’s contract forthwith, and apparently Chelsea did exactly that after Adrian Mutu failed a drugs test in 2004.
Only yesterday, a FIFA tribunal informed Aidrian Mutu that he must pay Chelsea Â£9.4M (12M Euro) over the incident, as compensation for the transfer fee the club paid for him to Parma.
Muto’s lawyer has already announced that Mutu, now at Fiorentina, will contest the fine in civil court.
As has been mentioned before, Newcastle would retain Barton’s registration to recoup some of the Â£5.8M they paid the Eastlands club for him last summer.
That means the Tyneside club would get a transfer fee from any club that wanted to pick up Barton’s registration, and have Barton play for them.
Barton has not been paid any wages since he was jailed.
Newcastle seem willing to go half way, but only if he agrees to a 50% cut in his wages, but even that will not be honored, if he is found guilty in the Dabo case.
Newcastle are absolutely right to think the upcoming trial will put yet another stain on the club’s good name, and will certainly not help their efforts in recruiting players to the club.
We think that’s true, but there are now huge questions, in retrospect, as to why we signed him in the first place.
He was hardly a golden boy last summer, after foolish and aggressive antics over a few seasons at Manchester City.