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Barton Must Be Sacked

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.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday July 2 2008
Time: 1:49PM


Barton doesnt deserve the privelege to play professional football, nobody should employ this pr*ck. He should be banned from football for life.
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
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!
02/07/2008 14:08:00
gd article, but a duno y arsenal fans are commentin on this he's scum
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???
02/07/2008 14:16:00
None of our business. It's Newcastle's problem.
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
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.
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.
02/07/2008 14:30:00
0 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
02/07/2008 14:36:00
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