The Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton faces legal action for allegedly ruining the career of a former team-mate.
Barton, 25, stubbed a lit cigar in the face of trainee Jamie Tandy at Manchester City's Christmas party in 2004. No police action was taken at the time of the incident but the midfielder was fined by his former club. Tandy, 23, is now pursuing a civil claim for damages against Barton.
Matthew Clayton, of Manchester-based law firm Ralli, said: "As a result of the assault by Joey Barton our client has suffered a major psychiatric deterioration in his health that has destroyed any chance he may have had of playing professional football at a high level."
Tandy was released by Manchester City after he broke his leg while playing on loan with a Danish club.
lPolice have launched an investigation after a car belonging to the Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was vandalised outside his home in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.
According to reports yesterday an anonymous letter had been sent to the Professional Game Match Officials Limited making serious allegations of a personal nature against Clattenburg.