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Barton Must Be Sacked

I know this isn't strictly to do with Arsenal, or in particular Emmanuel Adebayor, but as a wider football and indeed sociological issue, I feel this needs to be addressed. As most of you are no doubt aware, Jeoy Barton is currently serving a six month prison sentence for an aggrivated assault outside a McDonalds in Liverpool last December. It is speculated that he will be released in time for Newcastle's pre season training. At this moment in time, Newcastle's party line is that they will have talks with Barton upon his release. They refuse to confirm that he will be sacked.

Barton is no stranger to violent indiscretion. Withstanding his many questionable challenges on the football pitch, Barton has variously stubbed a cigar out on a team mates eye, become involved in a fracas with a teenage Everton fan whilst on a pre season tour and he was this week handed a four month suspended sentence for assaulting ex Manchester City team mate Ousmane Dabo. Far be it from me to come over all Daily Mail here (for instance, I'd wager time in clink has done bugger all to rehabilitate him. Locking a persistent violent offender away with other violent offenders in a small room for 23 hours a day hardly seems the best way to rectify a volatle temper), but surely for the sake of all that is good and holy Newcastle have to take a positive stance and sack him? Barton is supposed to be an athlete and yet was happily indulging in several pints followed by a late night McDonalds in the middle of the buisest period in the Premiership calendar, also during a time when Newcastle were on a run of poor results. (I myself often indulge in the diet as stated above and I can't take a flight of stairs without feeling like fainting, God knows how I'd fare with 90 minutes on a football pitch).

But there is a wider issue here at large. Greed from players is slowly morphing football into a real turn off for the average football fan. Personally, I think lamenting player greed can risk tipping over the line into the hypocritical. I'm pretty sure all of us have complained about the money we earn at some point in our lives. While we spew the righteous indignation of the working man as a player demands a weekly salary far in excess of our annual salaries, do you think our holier than thou, hard done by attitude cuts any ice with starving Rwandan children? Most people are, frankly, self absorbed on such matters. That's what money does to people. All of us are hurling lumps of mosaic marble at our own reinforced, double glazed glass houses. However, I think I am pretty certain that if I was given a six month prison sentence for aggrivated assault, I would be out of my job pretty sharpish. In fact, I know I would as a clean criminal record is an essential pre requisite in my line of work.

I can't think there are many people reading this article who could honestly say their employers would tolerate such a littany of horribly violent acts such as the ones Barton has committed. A very lenient employer might have given you a second chance after the cigar in the eye at the Christmas party (presumably, said cigar would have been lit to congratulate yourself on how fine a job you did photocopying your buttocks). But breaking a teenager's jaw would definitely have seen you given the old heave ho. So why should a footballer be treated any differently? Are we about to be told once and for all that the law is less consequential to footballers than the rest of us? If I were to be charged on two counts of assault, it is likely I would be banned from every football ground in the country. Is there a possibility that, should Newcastle continue to employ Barton, that every Premiership ground could refuse him entry to their grounds? I fully comprehend that Barton underwent a rough upbringing and society in general really doesn't give a panda's crap about people on council estates, but is telling him he can continue to commit these acts really the way to educate him and prevent him causing further harm to the public?

Continuing to employ him would not only be morally objectionable as well as a huge PR own goal, but it could harm Newcastle's chances in the transfer market. Putting aside the fact that they're a perenially shite side with delusions of grandeur and twats for supporters (I like to call them the Tottenham of the North), would you sign for Newcastle knowing that Joey Barton might be changing at the peg next to you? Newcastle have to stand up now and send a clear message that their football club will not condone this kind of behaviour from its players. If they keep Barton, will they have the moral right to eject supporters from the ground who behave aggressively? Unfortunately, I've a feeling that the Geordies will keep hold of him, largely becuase they know that sacking him would allow some other chumps to pick him up for free. It's a real shame, because I think Barton has genuine ability and in interview always seems like a considered and articulate chap. But on this occasion, I think lessons need to be learned.LD

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 2 2008

Time: 1:49PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Barton doesnt deserve the privelege to play professional football, nobody should employ this pr*ck. He should be banned from football for life.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 13:53:00

lol, true, players would be too darn scared to join a team with a criminal hothead in the team. they might get what dabo got..sores and bruises
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 13:58:00

Adams spent a few months in clink for drink driving and the club still paid his wages while he was in there. Not the same as violent assault but the fact that nobody was seriosuly injured owes more to luck than judgement. With hindsight it was right for the club to stand by him and encourage his eventual rehabilitation. Chelsea sacked Mutu for drug offences but he was quickly re-employed after serving a mandatory ban and gained was rehabilitated elsewhere. Chelsea have just been awarded damages against the player of £9mn with little prospect of getting any of it. But therein lies the moral dilemma. Doing the right thing, maintaining the moral high ground is an expensive business. Having said all that Barton looks a pretty irredeemable case to me!
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:08:00

gd article, but a duno y arsenal fans are commentin on this he's scum
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:16:00

he's a scumbag of the highest order, make no mistake. Football clubs around teh country i think (someone out there will know) have the right to refuse him entry into their stadia due to his violent past. Although as mentioned the other clubs could of done the same when Adams went inside and some of our players indiscretions. He can't be rehabilitated and why should we pay our taxes towards someone like that being helped when he has been afforded many privoledges that you, I and other folk have not???
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:16:00

None of our business. It's Newcastle's problem.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:19:00

Wouldn't it be great if the FA could somehow refuse him permission to play. The way foreign players need a work visa from the government, the FA should issue each professional footballer a license to play football. The FA, who on one hand are trying to set good examples for kids and on the other hand publicly stick up for Barton could then withdraw his license if his club agrees to punish the player, ensuring no other club could pick him up for free.. I hardly see Barton being tolerated in another country, so he'd be left to rot! Wishfull thinking though. Come the new season that scumbag will almost certainlyy be playing for the embarrassing Magpies!!
Bradys Chips
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:26:00

His continued employment and therefore high profile as a prem league footballer is incitement to thuggery and a mockery of justice. He's a scummy lowlife thug (i probably wouldn't say that to his face) who does not deserve the salary or the profile he has. Random violence on strangers and teammates is reprihensible and as AMos says, it was luck rather than judgement that meant the injuries to his victims were not worse. He obviously has no judgement or intelligence. it is morally wrong to condone such behaviour by keeping him employed and he should be shown the door.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:27:00

Hatespur, i have to disagree, as there's a bigger picture here to be considered in my opinion. its not just about Newcastle, its about morality and is part of the same problem that is destroying our society - violence and thuggery and everyone being too soft on violent thugs and bullies. The attitude that 'its someone else's problem' is what has allowed matters to get as bad as they have.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:30:00 would be great if he was refused permission to play in England, however all the PC/Human Rights kn*bh**ds will have a field day
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:36:00

Spot on Amos doing the right thing could result in Newcastle losing out financially. Maybe the FA should be taking a stance and banning him from playing again.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:46:00

society has gone soft on violent crime and so it has spiralled out of control and become normalised and that clearly includes Barton who behaves like a common town centre thug at kicking out time, despite his lofty status as a prem player. I heard he was getting paid something like £80k a week, ie top top money. this is the way he repays Newcastle. Ignoring the problem and being soft on criminals is not the way to address the problem. society needs to get tough, and that starts with this pathetic government (dont laugh!).
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 14:54:00

"Putting aside the fact that they're a perenially *****e side with delusions of grandeur and *****s for supporters" Couldnt agree more LD. Newcastle supporters combine the worst traits of all fans, they whinge like scousers, are deluded like the spuds and act like rangers fans with their sicko chants and songs.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:00:00

Very true Derek27
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:05:00

How Barton continues to play football is a disgrace, and a poor reflection on the FA ! Surely, they can ban him from football grounds - that makes the most sense.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:35:00

Didn't Tony Adams have a chequered start to his career? Fighting in nightclubs fuelled by alcoholism, getting jailed for drink driving, but continuing to misbehave until finally confronting his demons and admitting he was suffering this 'disease'. There are many incidences of employees misbehaving in all walks of life and frequently breaking numerous laws (sexism, racism, bullying) because of the money they produce for their employers - see the City of London for certain unacceptable behaviour - so singling out a person because he is a footballer is unfair. Is sacking him going to solve his problems? I think not. Or were Arsenal morally bankrupt not to sack Adams when he got up to some of his '90s antics?
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:43:00

You're far too late - that point had already been made early on Kernowboy. There is a moral balance to be reached. It is simply a question of just where it is drawn. The harm that Adams and Mutu did was largely to themselves. Bartons problems usualy involve someone else getting badly hurt.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:56:00

KB was Barton drunk when he attacked a team mate on the training ground?
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 15:57:00

Sorry to be a bore, but Newcastle can't sack Barton as the offence hanging over his head was disclosed when he signed for Newcastle, so he didn't contravene his contractual 'code of conduct'. Riduculous I know! Lets hope they take the moral high ground and let him rot in the reserves until he's out of contract, and by then no one will touch him.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 16:27:00

Barton should be made an example of, and never allowed to play professionally again. He is a disgrace, and a very bad example to the younger fans.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 16:39:00

Hopefully he will get what he deserves. You know what that is...
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 17:02:00

''Putting aside the fact that they're a perenially *****e side with delusions of grandeur and *****s for supporters (I like to call them the Tottenham of the North), '' Spot on! Apart from that is the fact he comes from bad stock, just a nasty ******** who's a wrongun and a **** boxer!
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 18:28:00

This is a very good article. As far as football players being greedy, it is true that many of us regular working folk are ungrateful with what we have and many are aslo underpaid, as seen by the difficulty in being able to pay our bills, hey we cannot be held accountable for the countries we live in, it takes money. Anyway if the regular working folk should feel bad because of suffering around the world(and we should) then it makes it worse for footballers to complain as the poor children in Rwanda are in their world also. Many regular working people, look at poor children with compassion and try to help them, is that how footballers look at regular working folk who actually pay their wages, are they going to donate money to the regular working folk?. I see your point and agree with it to an extent but there are a few differences, I think.
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 19:52:00

Just read this back and, honestly, this is the worst article I've ever put on Vital. Reactionary moralising garbage that could easily have appeared in a newspaper. Ugh! Normal service will be resumed again. Blame it on the boredom in my lunch hour :-)
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 20:16:00

And kernowboy, I've mentioned in an article I did on George Graham his hypocrisy. He booted Woodcock,Mariner and Samson out because of the drinking club, but turned a blind eye to Merson and Adams.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
02/07/2008 20:17:00

Little Dutch your usually much better then this... but you do effectively bring up the interesting topic of Barton... he has to go... lock him up and throw away they key, a menace to society... i would love to see newcastle sack him but i jsut have this feeling that it isnt going to happen and that they will prob just say 'oh he has gone through some bad times but he is trying to change' or sum **** like that just as he did after the dabo incident... get rid of the mug
Report Abuse
03/07/2008 03:12:00

I never fully read the articles anyway. Its opinions I am interested in. Read the comments and then post my opinion. We all agree. He is a bit of a *****.
Report Abuse
03/07/2008 07:20:00

Navy Dave - Do you honestly think Newcastle would of signed Barton with 2 court cases and 2 possible jail terms hanging over him without the option of a get out clause being inserted into his contract for the benefit????? Of course they did and they can sack him at a moments notice. Lets hope they do the right thing and cut thier losses, keep his registration and ask for ludicrous money for him. That way no one will want the oily little scumbag anyway!
Report Abuse
03/07/2008 09:55:00

Doesnt really relate to this subject but thought id share the link to the new arsenal away kit ... its the picture that they will use to promote the shirt ... very nice kit :-) .
Report Abuse
03/07/2008 14:50:00

LD, I do think your points are quite valid. It is true that someone who plays sports, seem to get away with Murder and get a slap on the wrist while if a fan, who by the way pays to watch a game, acts a fool, they are banned for life. Something does need to be done but as you say, no action will be taken, most probably.
Report Abuse
03/07/2008 21:58:00

Barton Must Be Sacked! Barton Must Be Sacked! Barton Must Be Sacked!
Report Abuse
04/07/2008 01:42:00

Totally agree a Football yob but he's on the pitch.
Tiny T
Report Abuse
05/07/2008 08:08:00

It could be argued though that Barton still has a chance to go the way of Duncan Ferguson, who early in his career was involved in fights off the pitch, before finally getting sent to gaol for striking a player in a SPL game. Yet he was able to turn his career around and has also been heavily involved in charity. He also found the time to give a couple of idiot burglars a good sorting out. I think that precedent suggests Barton shouldn't be singled out for extreme punishment.
Report Abuse
05/07/2008 09:37:00

He deserves to be kicked out of football. The blokes a headcase!
Report Abuse
06/07/2008 21:29:00


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