Newcastle United are concerned the English FA could ban Joey Barton for as long as a full season, and are looking at ways to combat that threat.
Joey Barton – facing ban from the FA
Barton committed his major crime a year last May, when he punched out Dabo in that infamous training ground scuffle , for which he recently received a 4 month suspended sentence.
But the jail sentence of 6 months he received recently was for an offense he committed on December 27th in Liverpoool city center, when he was a Newcastle player.
It’s Newcastle that will be punished, as well as the player, and it seems unfair the club should be punished for the Dabo affair, committed before he was even a Newcastle player.
But this is what should have been discussed before we ever signed him, because few other clubs were willing to touch him at that time, and it was a big chance signing the player, and we’ve certainly paid the price for this over this last 12 months – big time.
It may be that Newcastle will now follow the example of Manchester United with their former French striker Cantona, and suspend Joey Barton ourselves, until say November of this year.
With the FA now looking at all kinds of possibilities, including a potential season long suspension, the club hope they can work with the FA in dishing out suitable punishment to their player.
In January 2005, Manchester United quickly announced that Eric Cantona would not play for them for the rest of the season, after his infamous kung-fu style assault on a Crystal Palace fan.
After that ban the FA later extended Cantona’s ban until the end of the following September.
But Newcastle did not act at all when Barton was arrested on December 27th, and in fact after his initial jail time he was back in the team playing for them before the end of last season.
He was finally put on trial in May for that specific charge, interestingly after the end of the season, and he finally pleaded guilty and was jailed for 6 months, for which he served just 74 days, and was released last Monday.
There has been lots of negative reaction to the way Newcastle have handled the entire Barton situation, and when the player was finally released, the club made a short statement the following day saying he was staying at the club, and they would not be discussing the matter again.
Because of two convictions and because of Newcastle’s seeming unwillingness to punish their player any further, the FA may now take a harder line with both Barton and the club.
The likelihood seems to be that Newcastle will now ban Barton until the end of November, and then hope the FA ban is not too much more than that.
But this looks very much like it’s only a political move by the club, in order to reduce the overall ban on the player, and not based on what they think is right and proper.
The club may now be in a poor position, and the FA may throw the book at both Newcastle and Barton.
One thing is clear, Kevin needs to get a replacement in for Barton before the end of the month, and at least plan for the worst case scenario – that Joey will not be available for some time.
And the Joey Barton transfer last summer has so far turned out to be a disaster for the club, let’s be honest.
And in retrospect, which is always easy of course, we should have never done the deal, because the good name of Newcastle United has been dragged through the sewer for the last 12 months.