In the People Sunday newspaper yesterday, former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, is quoted as saying there is no place in football for Newcastle player Joey Barton.
Joey Barton – Newcastle must make a decision very shortly
Barton is still serving a six-month prison sentence, following an attack on a man outside a MacDonald’s restaurant in Liverpool last December 27th, at 5:30 am in the morning of all times.
Barton was also last week found guilty of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo in May of 2007, for which he pleaded guilty.
Caborn said yesterday:
“These people are role models and what happens on the pitch happens in the playground on Monday morning.”
“The power of these individuals is immense on young kids.”
“If those are the type of standards set by people in football, then we have to ask: Are they fit for the purpose?”
Frank Gilmour of the Independent Newcastle United Supporters Association also feels that Newcastle are making a big mistake if they do keep Barton at the club.
Gilmour feels that Newcastle and the player himself, could face an angry reaction from Newcastle fans, if he is indeed allowed to play for Newcastle United again.
“In any other job Barton’s shameful actions would have meant instant dismissal.”
“As a union man I represent employees at industrial tribunals and if an ordinary worker had done what Barton did on two occasions I would simply be unable to defend them.”
“I have seen his assault in Liverpool city center on CCTV and can’t believe that Newcastle are planning to hold talks with him and his representatives.”
“He should be sacked on the spot.”
We think Frank’s statement above will be taken very seriously by the powers that be at the Newcastle United club, because one thing we’ve found with the new Ashley regime, through personal experience on this web site, is the club is extremely keen to know what Newcastle fans (their customers after all) really think.
Newcastle will need to make a decision on Barton shortly, and while we think they were willing to give him another chance, these statements will not help his case, one little bit.
The only support Barton has got recently, came from the man who signed him at Newcastle, Big Sam Allardyce.
In Sam’s regular column for a Middle East newspaper, The National, Allardyce seemed concerned there could be long term repercussions for the midfielder, if Barton isÂ sacked by the Newcastle United club now.
Once Barton is released, which is said to be any day now, a Newcastle delegation, which will include Derek Llambias and Kevin Keegan,Â will sit down with him and his agent Willie McKay, and together determine what the way forward is.
The way forward could well be to leave Newcastle by a side door.
It’s a tough decision for the club, there’s no doubt about that, but they got themselves into this by buying Barton in the first place, when the player already had a terrible record of violence, and was essentially banned from Manchester City, after the Dabo attack.
It would be great if Newcastle gave him another chance and he came good – that would be the story everybody would love to see.
However, the chances of him doing the same thing again, within the next year, will leave even more egg on the Newcastle club’s face (and image), and we think that’s just too big a risk to take.