Joey Barton leaving Newcastle with bitter taste

The turbulent career of Joey Barton is at another crossroads this morning, with the outspoken midfielder searching for a new club after being told by Newcastle he can leave on a free transfer.

The St James' Park hierarchy made the decision yesterday, after another prolonged Twitter outburst from the 28-year-old.



Barton has made a number of comments over recent months that hint at behind-the-scenes unrest at the club, and went on another lengthy tirade following a friendly defeat to Leeds on Sunday.



That appears to have been the final straw for owner Mike Ashley, who has taken decisive action, despite the player holding a contract that runs until next summer.



In a brief statement, the club said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton has been placed on the transfer list.



"The player has been advised that he can leave the club on a free transfer."



Barton, who had promised a statement of his own on his future at 4pm, was beaten to the punch by his employers, but replied by tweeting: "Somewhere in those high echelons of NUFC, they have decided, I am persona non grata.



"I am on a free but the honour of wearing those B+W stripes, surpasses that.



"One day the board might realise, what the shirt signifies. HONOUR and PRIDE. Thanks for your continued support........... #toonarmy."



His agent, Willie McKay, called Newcastle's decision "suicidal" and claimed he would have no problems in finding his client a new club.



Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: "I think it's a wee bit suicidal by Newcastle because how would you let your player of the year leave on a free transfer, approaching his prime?



"There will be a lot of takers. Joey would hope to go to a top club and in actual fact a couple of top clubs have been in contact already.



"There won't be a problem finding Joey a home."



The root of Barton's unrest can be traced back to the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January.



It was thought that the one-cap England midfielder was considering signing a new deal at the time, but decided to put his future on hold until the summer after that.



Then, in May, McKay said Barton would not be offered a new deal, with the player later tweeting that Newcastle wanted a "younger, better, cheaper player".



His discontent was not aided by the sale of close friend and club captain Kevin Nolan to West Ham, and following the Leeds game he took another swipe at club officials.



In the aftermath of full-back Jose Enrique being fined for questioning the club's ambition, he said: "If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place.



"If it wouldn't effect (sic) team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose's comments would be the tip of the iceberg.....



"And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club. #hadenoughofcertainpeople.



"If I wanted to leave, I'd just come out and say I want to leave. Things need addressing as am not prepared to go through a relegation again."



An acrimonious departure now appears likely, but Barton, who has served a prison term, a club suspension and other bans during his four-year stay with the Magpies, is set to leave as a hero, at least with the fans, having so often been the villain.



Source: PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz