Joey Barton

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Barton lays into Newcastle again

Joey Barton has launched another attack on former club Newcastle and claims he quit the Magpies because of a row over bonuses.

The controversial midfielder, who joined QPR in August after being placed on the transfer list by Newcastle following a public slanging match with the club’s board, has now said his departure was inevitable after he led a dressing-room revolt over an argument over a bonus structure.

In a typically-outspoken interview, Barton claims the players were not offered the usual bonuses afforded to Premier League players and they were treated instead like “subordinates at Sports Direct”. Anyone who follows the football odds won’t have been surprised to see Barton airing his views again.

“Newcastle, as a playing squad, were the only club in Premier League history not to sign a bonus sheet. It was unprecedented,” he said.

“We refused as a playing staff as they tried to railroad the players into signing a bonus sheet.

“In their opinion we were paid workforce. They thought we were Sports Direct and we should do what the subordinates at Sports Direct do, forgetting they were dealing with 20-odd egos, probably 10 self-sufficient men in a position to make a number of different judgements.

“Myself and the bigger name players at the time advised the playing staff because we were head of the playing committee not to sign the bonus sheet and that filtered back to boardroom level.

“It’s no coincidence that I was given away.”

Barton’s views are likely to be treated with disdain in the north-east as he continues to have a pop at the club which helped resurrect his career but he his steadfast in his view that he was let down with various promises going unfulfilled. The Premier League betting also suggests he has a big job on his hands in keeping his current side in the top flight.

Speaking to QPR podcast Open All R’s, he added: “They promised a number of different things and delivered on very few of them.

“At Newcastle I couldn’t take to the pitch and lie to the fans and be a part of it.

“You are doing it for yourself, the fans and the football club but if you fundamentally despise everything that the owners stand for it is very difficult.”

Barton, who in May 2008 was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for common assault and affray following an incident in Liverpool city centre, added: “I am a man of principles.”

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