Barton a tinpot philosopher who never seems to learn from mistakes

Disgraced Fleetwood boss Joey Barton is the tinpot philosopher who never seems to learn from his mistakes

  • Joey Barton allegedly assaulted Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel in the tunnel
  • The Fleetwood manager was prevented from leaving Oakwell by police
  • Barton has always tried to hide behind the mask of the troubled genius
  • But he began his career by stubbing out a cigar in the eye of young team-mate 

Joey Barton has always tried to hide behind the mask of the troubled genius. If you believe his own narrative, Barton is a character of such depth and complexity that his constant dance with controversy is merely the collateral damage of his wisdom.

How often does that veil have to slip for the reality to show itself for what is?

How many incidents does it take for it not to matter how often you tweet quotes from George Orwell, Aristotle and Friedrich Nietzsche, or engage in debate with students on a part-time philosophy course, or adopt an intellectual French accent in press conferences, for it all to become an obvious facade.

Barnsley confirmed in a statement that an incident took place and  police are investigating

Joey Barton allegedly assaulted Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel in the tunnel at Oakwell 

Police prevented Barton from leaving Oakwell after the match, which was caught on camera

Police prevented Barton from leaving Oakwell after the match, which was caught on camera

It says much about your reputation and your character that when allegations surfaced that Barton had assaulted Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel in the tunnel following Fleetwood’s defeat at Oakwell and a hastily-deleted tweet from Tykes striker Cauley Woodrow claimed Stendel had been left with ‘blood pouring from his face’, that the initial reaction was one of shock but little in the way of surprise.

Why would you be surprised? This is, after all, a man who began his career by stubbing out a cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy at a Manchester City Christmas party.

Barton was fined £60,000 in wages and would have to pay Tandy £65,000 in damages.

Barton spent six months in prison in 2008 after being caught on CCTV in Liverpool city centre punching someone 20 times and leaving a teenage boy with broken teeth.

Barton began his career by stubbing out a cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy

Barton began his career by stubbing out a cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy

He avoided any police action for dropping his shorts towards Everton supporters in 2006

He avoided any police action for dropping his shorts towards Everton supporters in 2006

Barton managed to avoid any police action for dropping his shorts towards Everton supporters at Goodison Park in 2006, but was sent home and fined eight weeks’ wages by Manchester City a year earlier after a bar-room brawl involving a 15-year-old Toffees fan on a pre-season tour in Bangkok.

That incident ended with Barton sinking his teeth into the hand of his team-mate Richard Dunne.

Is that enough?

Barton was also suspended by City, charged with assault given a four-month suspended jail sentence, hit with a 12-match ban — of which six were suspended — and fined £25,000 after a training-ground incident in 2007 put team-mate Ousmane Dabo in hospital.

This is a man who, in 2010, drove his fist into opposition winger Morten Gamst Pedersen’s chest during a match between Barton’s Newcastle and Blackburn.

Barton was given a four-month suspended jail sentence after a training-ground incident in 2007 put team-mate Ousmane Dabo (above) in hospital

Barton was given a four-month suspended jail sentence after a training-ground incident in 2007 put team-mate Ousmane Dabo (above) in hospital

This is a man who, on the final day of the 2011-12 season while playing for QPR against Manchester City, elbowed Carlos Tevez, stuck a knee into Sergio Aguero and attempted to butt Vincent Kompany before being ushered off the field and banned for 12 matches.

For someone apparently so driven by philosophy — the quest for knowledge, understanding and the ethics of human behaviour — Barton does not appear to have learned all that much. If he had, the incidents would have stopped. They would not have followed him, like Peter Pan in pursuit of his shadow, wherever he went.

While up in Scotland in 2016, Barton was banished from Rangers’ training ground after an altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday following a defeat to Celtic.

His latest indiscretion saw him banned for 18 months and fined £30,000 after he admitted placing more than 1,200 bets on matches between 2006 and 2016. 

In 2012 he elbowed Carlos Tevez, attacked Sergio Aguero and tried to butt Vincent Kompany

In 2012 he elbowed Carlos Tevez, attacked Sergio Aguero and tried to butt Vincent Kompany

Against Lincoln in 2017, Barton stamped on Matt Rhead before then diving to the floor himself

Against Lincoln in 2017, Barton stamped on Matt Rhead before then diving to the floor himself

It was upon the return from this absence that he was appointed as manager of Fleetwood Town last June. In less than a year, the mask has slipped again.

But the incident which perhaps sums up Barton the best comes from his spell at Burnley. In the grand scheme of Barton, it is easily forgotten.

During their FA Cup fifth-round clash against Lincoln in 2017, Barton stamped on opponent Matt Rhead before then diving to the floor himself in an attempt to get his opponent sent off.

And that, in essence, is what he is all about. It’s misdirection. It’s the philosopher’s new clothes.

Surely this time, if he is found guilty, his actions will be enough to show once and for all what is really behind the mask.

Spotlight on Joey Barton’s controversial career

December 2004 – Stubs lit cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy during Manchester City’s Christmas party.

Joey Barton stubbed a cigar in the eye of a young player while at Manchester City in December 2004

Joey Barton stubbed a cigar in the eye of a young player while at Manchester City in December 2004

Fined six weeks’ wages by the club. Forced to pay four weeks’ salary – approximately £60,000 – immediately, with a further two weeks suspended for a year. Tandy later sued Barton, winning £65,000 in damages.

July 2005 – Involved in altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan at City’s team hotel in Bangkok during a pre-season tour.

Barton was fined eight weeks' wages for an incident with a 15-year-old Everton fan

Barton was fined eight weeks’ wages for an incident with a 15-year-old Everton fan 

Fined eight weeks’ wages by City after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

September 2006 – Drops his shorts in the direction of Everton fans following City’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Barton 'mooned' Everton fans in September 2006 at Goodison Park

Barton ‘mooned’ Everton fans in September 2006 at Goodison Park 

May 2007 – Suspended by City after training-ground altercation with Ousmane Dabo, which leaves his team-mate needing hospital treatment.

Barton assaulted team mate Ousmane Dabo and received a four-month suspended jail sentence as well as a £25,000 FA fine

Barton assaulted team mate Ousmane Dabo and received a four-month suspended jail sentence as well as a £25,000 FA fine

Charged with assault and, on July 1, 2008, receives a four-month suspended jail sentence. Also punished by FA with a 12-match ban – six matches of which are suspended – and a £25,000 fine.

May 2008 – Jailed for six months after admitting common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool city centre the previous December.

Barton pictured at Liverpool Crown Court was jailed for six months for assault

Barton pictured at Liverpool Crown Court was jailed for six months for assault 

November 2010 – Punches Blackburn winger Morten Gamst Pedersen during a 2-1 defeat for Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Barton receives a three-match ban for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen, pictured

Barton receives a three-match ban for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen, pictured

Accepts an FA charge and is banned for three games.

January 2012 – Unleashes an online tirade against the Football Association, labelling it an ‘Orwellian organisation’ in need of a ‘drastic shake-up’.

#QPR captain Joey Barton hits out at ‘Orwellian’ FA on Twitter: http://t.co/JFriI6dl (The Independent)

May 2012 – While playing for QPR, is sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez on the final day of the season at Manchester City.

Barton was banned for 12 matches for a series of attacks while playing for QPR against h is former club Manchester City

Barton was banned for 12 matches for a series of attacks while playing for QPR against h is former club Manchester City 

Also knees Sergio Aguero, and attempts to headbutt Vincent Kompany before being ushered off the field. Later banned for 12 matches.

September 2016 – Now a Rangers player, Barton is banished from the club’s training ground following an alleged altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday.

Playing in Scotland for Rangers, Barton once again had disciplinary problems

Playing in Scotland for Rangers, Barton once again had disciplinary problems 

 

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