Joey Barton's QPR future in doubt after receiving 12-match ban
FA finds QPR footballer guilty of violent conduct against Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany
QPR MIDFIELDER Joey Barton has been given a 12-match ban by the Football Association for losing the plot against Manchester City on the last day of the season. It's the longest suspension dished out to a Premier League player since Eric Cantona launched himself kung-fu style into the Crystal Palace crowd in January 1995.
The Manchester United maestro was sent on gardening leave for nine months and Barton now has plenty of time to tend to his roses after his antics at the Etihad Stadium on 13 May.
Barton was handed the ban after a seven-hour hearing at Wembley during which he was asked to explain why he had lashed out at Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany.
Unable to provide an answer, the 29-year-old Barton was banned and also ordered to pay a record fine for an on-field offence of £75,000.
"There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe,'' said the Commission chairman Maurice Armstrong in announcing the punishment.
It was later revealed in a statement by the FA disciplinary committee that because Barton had been shown a red card by referee Mike Dean (pictured above) for the initial elbow on Tevez he was called to account only for the subsequent assaults on Aguero and Kompany. The statement ran: "Barton accepted the charge of violent conduct against Aguero but denied the second breach of violent conduct against Kompany. The independent Regulatory Commission, however, found this second charge proved."
QPR said they will now begin their own internal investigation but according to the Daily Mirror, Barton is "facing the sack". The former England player has three years to run on his £80,000-per-week contract but because he won't be available to play before November he won't be an attractive proposition in the summer transfer market.
That, claims the Mirror, increases the likelihood that Rangers "will seek to cite gross misconduct" as a way of severing their ties with Barton.
Barton left the hearing without comment and for once refrained from taking to Twitter to air his views. Well known for his mordant musings on the social networking site, Barton was still keeping mum on Thursday morning - though a couple of days earlier he had quoted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist". ·