The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton will refuse to accept a cut in his Â£60K per-week basic wages.
Joey Barton – leavingÂ jail Monday morning – so pleased he didn’t wear his Newcastle jersey
Barton, 25, left Manchester’s Strangeways jail on Monday after serving 74 days of a six-month sentence for attacking a teenager in Liverpool city center.
He immediately headed to Newcastle, across the Pennines.
The Telegraph is reporting that Barton has been informed by his lawyers that he does not have to accept any pay reduction.
That was threatened by Newcastle club owner Mike Ashley, earlier this summer,Â although Newcastle have refused to pay Barton during his time in jail.
The Newcastle club has been informed by lawyers, that in fact they are in no position to dismiss him, then retain his registration and claim compensation if he is hired by another British club.
That was a strategy the club was looking to play out at one time, and while that situation would change if Barton moved abroad, that is only a remote possibility.
Newcastle therefore risk losing Barton for nothing just one year after bringing him to Tyneside from Manchester City for Â£5.8M.Â Reports suggest that Mike Ashley is not prepared to write off this amount of money.
The strange thing is that Barton’s importance to the Newcastle club has, if anything, increased since he’s been in prison, given the Tyneside club’s difficulties in the transfer market so far this summer.
Keegan has said he wants to hold on to every player currently at the club, apart from Shola Ameobi, who is almost certain to leave before the end of August.
Barton has made it very clear he sees his future at Newcastle United, and he was accompanied by his agent, Willie McKay, for talks with Newcastle’s board, yesterday, after which they issued a rather terse statement that they would be retaining Barton, and said that was the last time they would comment on the situation.a
But we think it was Keegan who Ashley listened to, and Kevin wants to rehabilitate his player, and Mike is a wise man in that he will unlikely go against his popular manager’s wishes.
We still would like the club to announce exactly what they will be doing with Barton, and what programs they will put him on so that the same think is unlikely to occur again.
Although we understand the club would like not to comment on the situation again, they will just have to put out a statement, probably jointly with Barton, to say what their plan of action is.
That would be good PR, and saying nothing is not good PR – as they’ve hopefully learned this summer.
We’d also like to hear from the player himself – since we have no idea if he’s even sorry for what he’s done, since he’s said absolutely nothing about his convictions.
Finally, if you haven’t voted in our new poll, please do so on whether you think Newcastle are right to keep Barton at Newcastle.
62% of our readers think it was the right decision – so far in the poll.
Comments welcome – but please keep them civil – thanks.