Barton hints he could sue referee over sending off


QPR captain Joey Barton yesterday claimed he could sue over the red card he received against Norwich City.

QPR have confirmed they will appeal to the Football Association against Barton's dismissal in Monday's 2-1 home defeat. It is understood the FA in turn is to probe critical comments from director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam.

Barton got involved in a tussle with Bradley Johnson, and appeared to headbutt the Norwich midfielder. Play continued before referee Neil Swarbrick consulted the assistant nearest to the incident and produced a red card. Barton immediately used his Twitter account to launch an impassioned defence of what he viewed as a "ridiculous decision", claiming the match officials had been "conned".

The 29-year-old wrote on Twitter: "I wonder how long it is before a football club sues a referee for making a bad decision? There's too much at stake to not have technology. Or a player sues another player for play-acting. Which is basically a lie and that is actionable. What's the difference? Someone has to set the precedent to stop the game from being ruined, maybe I'll be the 1st one. Can players sue referees?"