The Telegraph has a nice list of Barton’s misbehavior over the course of his professional career, which we reproduce here:
Dec 2004 – stubbed a lit cigar into the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy during Manchester City’s Christmas party. Fined six weeks’ wages by City. Forced to pay four weeks’ salary – approximately £60,000 – immediately, with a further two weeks suspended for a year.
Barton says: “If I was to do something similar, I’d be the biggest fool ever.”
May 2005 – breaks leg of 35 year-old pedestrian while driving his car at 2am in Liverpool city centre.
July 2005 – involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan at City’s team hotel in Bangkok, where the team are playing in the FA Premier League Trophy. Fined eight weeks’ wages by City after being found guilty of gross misconduct. Accepts punishment and agrees to undertake a programme of rehabilitation.
Says: “When people talk about my dark days, when I sit down and think about it – the misdemeanours I’ve had, with the things that go on in the real world – the things I have done are stupid and foolish. But they are not war crimes.”
Sept 2006 – drops his shorts in the direction of Everton fans following City’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. Charged with improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute by the Football Association and fined £2,000.
Says: “The shorts thing was only intended as a light-hearted joke but some people didn’t take it that way unfortunately. I don’t know whether the fans see me as the Evertonian that got away or what. I was there when I was a youngster and have had a couple of chances to go back and it’s never been right.”
Feb 2007 – wins his first international call-up despite public criticism of the England team’s performance at the World Cup and subsequent releases of autobiographies.
Says: “England did nothing in the World Cup, so why are they bringing books out? ‘We got beat in the quarter-finals, I played like s**t, here’s my book’. Who wants to read that? I don’t.”
March 2007 – arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage in an incident involving a taxi driver. He is later charged with criminal damage, which he denies.
Says: “He (the taxi driver) didn’t seem to be in control and seemed to be going really mad. I said ‘Let’s forget about the money and get out of the cab and get to safety’, but he wouldn’t stop the cab.”
May 2007 – suspended by Man City for the rest of the season after a training ground altercation with Ousmane Dabo. He is charged with assault and appears in court but is spared jail.
Says: “I am very thankful to the media of this country. If it was not for them vilifying me I may have p****d my career up the wall. ”
Dec 2007 – arrested in Liverpool city centre in connection with an allegation of assault. He later admits assault and affray and is jailed for six months at Liverpool Crown Court.
Says: “My last night out probably cost me £500,000 plus my reputation. I must have been as close as you can get to self destruct. I had two choices basically. Either you carry on doing what you’re doing and your career’s gone, or you address it.”
May 2008 – jumps a red light and undertakes dozens of cars in a bus lane driving to meet a probation officer while followed by the press.
Says: “Why are they following him? It is a disgrace. What would you do if people followed you in a car? What is the guy meant to do? He doesn’t know who is in the car, does he?”
July 2008 – receives four-month suspended sentence for assaulting Dabo.
Says: “Whether you’re the best footballer in the world, or the best golfer or the best cricketer, you’re a human being. You might be good at that, but you might be crap at life.”
July 2008 – released from prison.
Says: “My reputation will always precede me to the day I die and for some people that probably can’t be quickly enough. I’m not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me. I am indefensible.”
Sept 2008 – banned by the FA for 12 matches – six of which are suspended – and fined £25,000 after admitting violent conduct charge in relation to the Dabo incident.
What Barton says: “When you’ve been in as much s**t as I’ve been in, you’ve got to grow up. You can say, ‘Do I really deserve this?’ but you do. We live life in the limelight and there’s nothing I can do about what’s happened now.
May 2009 – sent-off against Liverpool for late challenge on Xabi Alonso. Suspended until further notice by Newcastle manager Alan Shearer for the rest of the season following an explosive row between the pair which saw them held apart at Anfield.
Says: “I think that was more because of who I was than what I did. The great thing about English football is it is so competitive. I hope that never changes.”
Nov 2010 – caught on camera punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach during Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat against Blackburn, for which he only received a yellow card.