QUEENS PARK RANGERS have stripped Joey Barton of the club captaincy and fined him six weeks’ wages following an internal investigation into his disciplinary meltdown against Manchester City.
Barton again hit the headlines on the final day of last season when he was sent off for striking Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez in an off-the-ball clash and then kneed Sergio Aguero before he was shepherded down the Etihad Stadium tunnel.
The FA handed down a 12-match ban and £75,000 fine following an independent investigation, leading to speculation that QPR might cut their losses and attempt to sell Barton on during the summer transfer window.
In a statement released this morning, club chief executive Philip Beard said that the matter had now reached a “sensible conclusion” but warned that they reserve the right to terminate his contract if he breaches club rules again.
The 29-year-old, who signed a four-year deal at Loftus Road when he joined from Newcastle United at the beginning of last season, will not travel with his team-mates for next month’s pre-season tour of Asia.
“It was important that we took our time to make sure we came to the correct decision, which I believe we have achieved,” Beard said.
Joey’s behaviour, which led to his red card at Manchester City, and his subsequent actions were completely unacceptable and we have made our feelings on this matter known to him.
I am really pleased with the way in which the Club and Joey have worked towards reaching a sensible conclusion and we fully believe he will respond to these sanctions in the correct manner.
In a brief apology for the incident, Barton said that he accepted the club’s punishment.
“My behaviour was wrong and I accept the punishment that has been imposed upon me as a result,” he said.
“I apologise to the Manager, my team-mates and of course the QPR fans for my actions. I also apologise to the Manchester City players, staff and supporters.”
The player, who has become known for his activity on Twitter, also sent three short messages to his 1.6 million followers.