There has been lots of news on Joey Barton over the last few days, and most of it will not make good reading for Joey.
Joey Barton – no good choices for him
If the Huyton-born player thought he could ride out his current troubles, and after it was all over return to Newcastle United as though nothing had happened, he will have to think again.
Newcastle United are said to be preparing to offload their midfield player, as he prepares for a second court case that starts on June 30th.
While manager Kevin Keegan wants to keep Barton at the club because of his undoubted ability, the Daily Mail are reporting that several clubs have been made aware of the 25-year-old’s availability.
Barton is serving a six-month prison sentence for assault and affray in Liverpool, that was committed last December, and is facing a further trial for allegedly assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo, in a training ground incident last year.
He is not expected to serve the full six months of his current sentence, and for good behavior could be out in about two months.
But the case against him for the Dabo incident does look a little daunting, with Manchester City’s former manager Stuart Pearce, and a number of the City players prepared to testify for the prosecution.
Newcastle chairman Chris Mort made a very non-committal statement on Sunday about Barton’s situation:
“It is too early to say whether Joey being sacked is a possible outcome.”
However, if they donâ€™t sell the player, the club are said to be willing to maintain his four remaining years on contract at the club, but only at half the wages he is currently getting.
So that new contract would need to be agreed, with cancellation of the contract being necessary if he ever gets charged and found guilty again, during those four years.
He’s on around Â£60K/week right now, so he would get Â£30K/week which is still around Â£1.56M/year.
Whether Joey could get similar wages elsewhere is very debatable, and the bad actions he has committed always have bad consequences, which is exactly what he’s now facing.
It’s nobody’s fault but Joey’s that he’s in this position.
One way to look at it is that Newcastle are willing to stand by him and give him a second (or is it the third?) chance, but he must pay for his actions with his wage cut.
Itâ€™s not very often that a professional football player ends up behind bars, and brings shame to his club, after all.
Our view is that’s a small amount to pay, if Joey can regain his pride and standing as a player and person at Newcastle United, in the next few years.
Everybody likes to see people overcome their demons, and if he was able to do that, the St. James’ Park faithful would be only too willing to embrace the player and support him fully.
But whether he’s even willing to try is unknown at this stage.