At an independent Regulatory Commission hearing today in London, Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton was given a 12 match suspension, six matches of which are suspended until the end of the 2009/2010 season, and fined £25K.
Joey Barton – will serve only 6 match ban initially
Barton had already admitted a charge of violent conduct, relating to an assault on his then Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo at City’s Carrington training ground on 1st May 2007.
He is suspended for six matches with immediate effect, and the suspended sanction of six further matches will be automatically invoked in full should Barton be found guilty of any similar charge involving violence or be dismissed from the field of play for violent conduct (but not for serious foul play).
A statement from the independent Regulatory Commission Chairman Maurice Armstrong after the hearing said:
“Much has been written about Mr Barton over recent months. The Regulatory Commission had the benefit of taking all appropriate information into consideration. The Commission members considered principally the serious attack by Mr Barton that clearly cannot be accepted.”
“The members also had to take into consideration the sanctions imposed by the courts and the pro-active support Mr Barton has received from Newcastle United FC and other professional bodies.”
“The Commission members wanted to punish the offense appropriately but give Mr Barton an opportunity to ensure his professional conduct does not falter again and ensure he is fully aware of the consequences should he make another serious error of judgement.”
That in fact is not too bad a sentence for Barton, given the circumstances, and Barton would be available in a couple of months time to play for Newcastle.
It’s just a pity he will not be playing for Kevin Keegan, that’s all.