Soccer

Joey Barton’s most disgraceful controversies – cigar stub and teammate assault

Joey Barton may have retired from playing football – but is still causing controversy during his managerial career.

The newly-appointed Bristol Rovers manager never strays far from a scandal, whether that be on or off the pitch.

The former QPR, Newcastle and Man City midfielder has famously struggled to control his temper over the years.

Barton has been convicted of two violent crimes, spending time behind bars, and been charged with violent conduct by The FA on three occasions.

From teammates to opposition players and even the cast of The Only Way is Essex, there have been many targets of Barton's behaviour.

Here is a look at some of his most disgraceful controversies.

Sparking mass brawl

Back towards the start of Barton's career in July 2004 while at Manchester City, he sparked a mass brawl during a pre-season friendly.

Barton hacked down Doncaster Rovers player Paul Green which led to a 10-man ruck between opposing players.

He was then was left limping after receiving a crunching tackle back in retaliation – with clashes boiling over all over the pitch in the next 10 minutes.

After the match, furious manager Kevin Keegan laid into his player, claiming he would have got more than a yellow card in a Premier League fixture.

"I told him the truth – you either play football or you come off. There is no choice," vented Keegan.

He added: "I have a problem with any player who just wants to go out and be physical all the time. There is no future in that.

"He has a nasty knock but hopefully he will learn from it because if he wants to fight, there are a lot of pretty tough players out there."

Cigar stub in teammate's eyes

 

During a Christmas party back in December 2004, Barton lost his anger in horrifying circumstances.

Barton, who was dressed as Jimmy Saville, lost his rag when he caught youth player Jamie Tandy attempting to set his shirt on fire.

In retaliation, furious Barton stubbed a lit cigar out in Tandy's eye, leaving his teammate with a burnt eyelid.

City charged Barton with gross misconduct and was fined four weeks' salary which came in at a club record of around £60,000.

Barton apologised for his actions and Tandy later sued his attacker, winning £65,000 in damages.

He also went to personally apologise to manager Kevin Keegan, with the then City boss revealing: "What meant much more was to see him stand in front of me in a room and hear him say how upset and sorry he was."

Bangkok fracas with 15-year-old

Just six months after the cigar incident, Barton hit the headlines again during a pre-season tour in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hot-tempered Barton was aggrieved by comments made by a 15-year-old Everton fan at a Bangkok hotel, resulting in a fracas.

Reports claiming Richard Dunne was forced to step in as peacemaker, but Barton then turned on his own captain and the pair had to be pulled apart.

Barton was fined eight weeks' wages by City after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

City manager Stuart Pearce ordered Barton to undergo a seven-day programme of anger management therapy.

Flashes bum to rival fans

Barton had a violent training ground fight with former teammate Ousmane Dabo in May 2007.

Dabo suffered head injuries, including a detached retina, after the bust-up and was left needing hospital treatment,

The clash effectively ended Barton's time at City, leading to a relationship breakdown with Pearce.

After initially pleading not guilty to assault, Barton changed his plea to guilty and received a four-month suspended jail sentence plus 200 hours of community service.

He was also punished by the FA with a 12-match ban – six of which were suspended – and handed a £25,000 fine.

Years later in 2012, Barton responded angrily after being called a 'liar' and 'coward' by Dabo.

Barton tweted: "I see Dabo is yet to move on, I feel for him. What happened was unfortunate. Next time he should think twice about throwing his weight about.

"If Ousmane wants to come to a Marseille game, have dinner and discuss it like adults, he’s more than welcome anytime. For me now, its over!"

Then in February this year, Barton offered to settle the score in a charity boxing match.

Banged up

 

After moving to Newcastle United, Barton was arrested in Liverpool city centre in December 2007.

CCTV footage captured the footballer punching a man 20 times, causing him to lose consciousness.

He was also seen attacking a teenager and breaking some of his teeth during the Boxing Day night altercation.

In May 2008, a Liverpool Crown Court heard how Barton was remorseful about the incident and had admitted to an alcohol problem.

Barton pleaded guilty to common assault and affray and was sentenced to six months behind bars, with Judge Henry Globe QC saying it was a "violent and cowardly act".

Barton served 74 days of his prison terms before being released in July 2008.

Punching opposition player

 

Barton was in trouble once again in November 2010 when he punched Blackburn winger Morten Gamst Pedersen during a 2-1 defeat for Newcastle.

Losing his rag, Barton punched Pedersen in the ribs while the referee was booking another player, but was caught on video footage.

The Norwegian was treated at length on the pitch and later had a frank exchange of views with his attacker, who seemed to be suggesting it had been little more than a playful slap.

Barton was charged by the FA over the incident and admitted to violent conduct, earning himself a three-match ban.

"I fully accept that I was in the wrong on this occasion and accept the charge that the FA have brought against me," said Barton at the time.

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He apologised to his victim, his manager Chris Hughton, his teammates and the supporters, then claimed he was being provoked.

"This season, I have really been enjoying my football and although I have been on the receiving end of a few robust challenges, I have, up until now, remained calm in the face of provocation and just carried on with the game," he added.

"But I hold my hands up, I reacted badly to the situation on Wednesday night and I deeply regret it.

"I have been working very hard to keep that side of my game under control and I think it has showed in the way I have been able to get on and enjoy my football this season.

"I look forward to trying to get back into the team once my suspension is over and helping the club maintain its good start to the season."

TOWIE spat

 

Battle lines were drawn when Barton declared war on the cast of The Only Way Is Essex. in November 2011.

While at QPR, Barton called the entire cast "melts" on Twitter after seeing them at a Call of Duty party.

When he got some stick back from the likes of Mark Wright and James Argent, Barton claimed Arg had teeth "like a burnt down fence".

In response, castmembers including Joey Essex, Lydia Bright, Sam and Billie Faiers, Chloe Sims and Maria Fowler held their pinky fingers up for the camera.

Mario Falcone went one further by gesturing with his middle finger, while Nanny Pat held a sign that read 'Jel Joey Barton'.

In reply, Joey said: "Isn’t it absurd that all these Z-listers stick up for each other? Must think it’ll get them a Daz advert."

Earlier this year, Arg confessed Barton's joke about his teeth was part of the vicious trolling he received which led to a dark downward spiral.

"I was seriously suffering with body image and self-worth, not feeling good enough and paranoid about how I looked," Arg told  Sun Online.

“Joey Barton took the p**s out of Towie and I tweeted him something to dig him out and he tweeted me back saying, ‘Arg, you’ve got teeth like a burnt-down fence’."

He added: “It is funny looking back at it, but I remember being so conscious and embarrassed that every time I had a picture after that I’d smile but close my mouth. I wouldn’t show my teeth.

“It made me go straight to the dentist to get my veneers done.”

Man City clash

In one of the most dramatic matches in football history, Barton was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the throat on the final day of the season in May 2012.

Then to make matters worse for relegation-threatened QPR, Barton put a knee into Sergio Aguero which sent him tumbling to the ground.

Not content with all that, Barton then squared up to Vincent Kompany and Mario Balotelli as he left the pitch.

Everyone knows what happened next, as QPR took the lead but Man City scored two stoppage time goals to win their first Premier League title.

Barton was suspended for 12 games and fined £75,000 after being charged with two acts of violent conduct against Aguero and Kompany.

He accepted the former, but denied the latter and requested a personal hearing, where the verdict went against him.

In the wake of the dismissal, Barton launched an expletive-ridden Twitter attack on Alan Shearer.

Taking aim at the Match of the Day pundit, Barton tweeted: "I'd take it off Hansen and @GaryLineker but not from that bell, same fella that stamped on Neil Lennon,then threatened FA if they banned him."

He added: "I really don't like that p****, in fact I honestly despise him… Goodnight."

Standing up for Shearer, Lineker replied: "Still raging then? Still kicking out? And still, presumably, misunderstood? But only by yourself I suspect."

Humiliated Barton responded by telling Lineker to go "back under your stone you odious little toad".

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