Rather inevitably Joey Barton is in the headlines again, for the wrong reasons. In light of Barton’s latest episode in his controversial career in which he has been fined two weeks wages by Newcastle after criticising the hierarchy at the club, it has merely highlighted how far football as a whole and footballers themselves are detached from reality.
Barton has become the latest of many top professional footballers to use social networking site Twitter to vent his grievances. I use the word professional cautiously as venting ones misgivings on Twitter is anything but professional. Unless you are a moron, those of us in an every day job would think twice before criticising their employer in a public arena like Twitter or Facebook.
In spite of this Barton explained on the popular social networking site that “The inevitable – two week’s wages fine has just arrived.” It is not clear what the fine relates to but the fact that he sees a two week wage fine as inevitable is absurd. It clearly suggests that it has absolutely no impact on him in terms of finances and discipline. Will Barton change his ways because of this? I doubt it. Will he struggle to put food on the table because on this? Definitely not!
We all know footballers are paid handsomely so why don’t those at the top of the game introduce tougher sanctions to have a true impact to those, like Barton, who treat their profession farcically? Perhaps a six months wage fine and a six match ban may deter the likes of Barton from continuously getting into trouble?
Whilst Barton is no Samaritan, fair play to him because he knows how the system works and he probably suspects that the system is not going to change. The two week’s wage fine was inevitable, he is right. Many times before, footballers have been hit with fines that barely scratches the surface of their spare change. It is also inevitable that Barton will, at some point in the future, find himself at centre of another controversy. It is inevitable that someone like me, an honest everyday football fan, finds this whole episode disgusting. It is inevitable that the system will not change in light of Barton’s latest shenanigans. Everything seems inevitable and that just doesn’t feel right.
Words by Rob Toole