Barton fined £60,000 for fracas

Joey Barton will be charged with gross misconduct and fined a Manchester City club record £60,000 for burning a team-mate on the eyelid with a cigar at the players' Christmas party, but the short-tempered midfielder will not be sold.

Joey Barton will be charged with gross misconduct and fined a Manchester City club record £60,000 for burning a team-mate on the eyelid with a cigar at the players' Christmas party, but the short-tempered midfielder will not be sold.

However, the future does not look quite so secure for his victim, Jamie Tandy, 20, whose involvement in the incident at a bar in central Manchester began when he tried to set fire to Barton's shirt. It is not the first time that City officials have had their patience tested by Tandy, a reserve-team player, and the club are now considering moving him on in the summer.

In the meantime, City have convened a disciplinary committee - which will be chaired by the director Brian Bodek and will include the manager, Kevin Keegan, - to deal with Barton, 22, and Tandy. They expect to come to an agreement on a punishment for the players before the Boxing Day fixture away at Everton.

Although the maximum penalty for a player, agreed with the Professional Footballers' Association, is two weeks' wages, the club expect to fine Barton four weeks' wages by charging him with gross misconduct. For the England Under-21 midfielder, who signed a new three-year contract in the summer, that would mean a £60,000 bill.

The incident took place on Sunday in the Lucid bar in Manchester's refurbished Printworks complex during the team's fancy-dress Christmas party. Barton, who was dressed as Jimmy Saville, thrusted the lighted cigar into Tandy's face when he realised that his team-mate was trying to set fire to his shirt.

The two men have never been close friends and have clashed in the past on the training ground. A City source said: "Joey is a proud Scouser who wears his heart on his sleeve, while Jamie is a boisterous Mancunian. They just don't get on."

Tandy was treated at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and has nothing more serious than a burnt eyelid which will not prevent him from training with the reserves today. City's players were given the day off yesterday but Barton, who scored the winner against Bolton on Saturday, is expected to train with the first team as usual today.

Barton's development at City stalled last year as he failed to hold down a place in the centre of Keegan's midfield amid reports that he had, on occasions, lost his temper in training and clashed with team-mates. Despite that, the player, who was rejected by Everton as a schoolboy, has remained a popular figure at the club's training ground. Coaching staff are dismayed that, even at 22, he still seems unable to control his temper.

The City spokesman Paul Tyrrell said: "I can confirm that the club is aware of an incident involving two members of our playing staff that occurred on Sunday evening.

"An immediate investigation has been completed and the matter is being dealt with internally. A disciplinary process will be conducted appropriately and promptly."

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