QPR launch appeal over Joey Barton red card


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

QPR have confirmed they will appeal to the Football Association against Barton's dismissal in yesterday's 2-1 home defeat.

It is understood the FA in turn are to seek observations from the London club over critical comments from director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam.

Barton gave QPR an early lead at Loftus Road, before then getting involved in a tussle with Bradley Johnson, and appearing to headbutt the Norwich midfielder.

Play continued before referee Neil Swarbrick consulted his assistant nearest to the incident and produced a red card.

Norwich went on to win through goals from Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison, to leave QPR just above the relegation zone.

Barton had 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 former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder today 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 playacting. 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?"

Barton yesterday claimed the officials told him at half-time they had not actually seen the alleged headbutt.

The QPR captain feels a review system such as in rugby league and rugby union should be utilised by football.

"We have the best officiated game in the world on our doorstep (rugby). Why dont we stop listening to FIFA beaucrats [sic] and move our game forward?" Barton continued on Twitter.

"Referees would embrace all the technology available in my opinion. Game needs to move forward. Incidents like y'days would be cited and dealt with retrospectively if the officials, were unclear/unsure. I also feel it would lead to respect like rugby."

Barton added: "Those 3 points yesterday, could be difference between Premier League survival and not. That equates to alot [sic] of money."

Norwich midfielder Johnson was pictured at the PDC World Darts Championship final last night with a placard mocking the QPR captain. It read: "Barton, your breath stinks."

Barton responded in kind today, as he said on Twitter: "Don't worry people I've seen Boris [sic] Johnson from Norwich with his sign at the darts. He's irrelevant really, absolute no mark."

Barton also dismissed rumours he would be looking to walk out on QPR this month, having only joined them in the summer.

He added on the social networking site: "Whats this transfer request nonsense? I've never run from a challenge in my life, why would I start now. Absolute nonsensical £morelies."

In his post-match press conference, QPR manager Neil Warnock yesterday claimed he held little hope of lodging a successful appeal against what would be a three-match ban for violent conduct.

Nevertheless, the west London club this afternoon confirmed a formal appeal had been submitted, and must now present supporting evidence ahead of an independent disciplinary hearing, which will convene and make a decision ahead of the weekend's FA Cup third-round tie at MK Dons.

Television footage of the clash between Barton and Johnson initially proved inconclusive, with no real close-ups because of the position of cameras at the stadium.

What was clear from the long-range pictures was that Barton clashed with Norwich defender Zak Whitbread and then Johnson in the centre circle, ahead of directly squaring up to the Canaries midfielder.

Warnock branded Johnson a "disgrace" for his reaction.

It is understood that the FA have decided the post-match comments from manager Warnock do not warrant any further action.

However the club could face sanction over an apparent Twitter remark from director Emir Gnanalingam.

The message, which was swiftly deleted, is reported to have hit out at the referee being "biased and blind".

A fresh Twitter message has since appeared from Gnanalingam, a Malaysian businessman who joined the board in August following Tony Fernandes' takeover, saying simply: "EPL should consider video evidence for red cards. The 4th official is there and can communicate with ref immediately."

In September, the FA wrote to QPR owner Fernandes for Tweeting "this referee is blind" when Michael Oliver failed to award a penalty against Aston Villa despite a clear handball by defender Alan Hutton.

QPR will be contacted again in writing by the governing body for their observations over this latest transgression.