English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) fined Joey Barton six week’s salary and also stripped the team captaincy from him on June 25. The punishment was due to his violent on-field actions during the final game of last season. QPR had a 2-1 lead at Manchester City with the regulation 90 minutes up. City then scored two goals in injury time to win the game 3-2 and take the league title over Manchester United on goal difference.
The English Football association (FA) had already fined the player £75,000 (U.S. $117,000) and suspended him for the first 12 games of the upcoming season, which kicks off in August. Barton elbowed Manchester player Carlos Tevez in the head and then kicked Sergio Aguero. However, he wasn’t finished there as he also tried to head-butt City’s Vincent Kompany. Barton was given a red card for his actions.
Barton took to Twitter to try and defend his violent conduct and said he was attempting to goad one of the City players into receiving a red card as well. QPR could have paid dearly for their former captain’s outburst as they could have been relegated following the final-day loss if Bolton had won their game against Stoke, but they only managed a draw.
QPR released a statement which said the 29-year-old Barton will have his contract with the club terminated if he breaches its conduct policy again. The midfielder is also going to be left at home when the team tours Asia in July. It seems that Barton hasn’t learned from the league fine and ban since he was arrested in early June following an altercation outside of a Liverpool nightclub.
Barton, a notorious Twitter user, wrote on the social network site that he deserves his punishment because he acted recklessly in the game against City. He said he’s not upset about losing six weeks’ worth of pay, but being banned for 12 games and losing the captain’s armband hurt. He added that’ he’ll definitely be back with the team and can’t wait until he starts playing again.
Barton has received several suspensions and fines from the FA throughout the years for a variety of violent actions, including assaulting his own teammates. He has also served a jail sentence for a street assault and his brother is currently locked up for murder. While playing for City in 2004, Barton assaulted a teammate during training and also pushed a lighted cigar into the eye of a young teammate during a club Christmas party.
Barton was then with the team in Bangkok, and had a run in with a teenaged Everton supporter. He was fined two month’s pay for that incident. He seemed to have settled down and was called up to play for England in 2007 to play against Spain in a 1-0 loss. However, he soon reverted to his true form and was arrested following an altercation with a taxi driver. Manchester City then suspended him after he punched his teammate Ousmane Dabo in a training session. The FA banned him for six games and he was given a suspended jail sentence for the incident.
His next stop was in 2008 when he was transferred to Premier League club Newcastle United. Not long after the move he was sentenced to six months in jail for brawling in the downtown area of Liverpool, his hometown. Barton will have to wait until the end of August to see if he’s included in QPR’s roster. He’s currently under contract with the London-based club until 2015.