QPR midfielder Joey Barton will not appeal against the 12-match ban handed down in response to his sending-off and subsequent actions in the defeat to Manchester City on the final day of the Barclays Premier League season.
Barton was hit with the lengthy ban and fined £75,000 (€93,000) by a Football Association-appointed independent regulatory commission on Wednesday, after being dismissed for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then kicking out at Sergio Aguero as he left the pitch in the match on May 13.
QPR are now carrying out their own investigation into the incident, and said in a statement: “Queens Park Rangers Football Club can confirm it has now started a full internal investigation in relation to Joey Barton’s dismissal and subsequent events against Manchester City on the final day of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season.
“The QPR midfielder will not appeal against the independent regulatory commission’s decision made on Wednesday and he and his team are now working in full cooperation with the club to assist in the internal investigation.
“The club expects the investigation to last at least two weeks.
“During this period, no one from the club or Joey Barton himself will make any further comment.”
Barton, who also attempted to headbutt Vincent Kompany after clashing with Tevez and Aguero, received an automatic four-game suspension, with the additional eight matches a consequence of the manner of his dismissal.
The acts were condemned by the chairman of the regulatory commission, who stated: “There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe.”
It remains to be seen whether Barton will be part of the QPR squad for their pre-season tour to Asia in July.
Assistant manager Mark Bowen believes the west-London club must now look to put the events of last season’s rollercoaster campaign behind them and build for a promising future among England’s elite.
“This club can now make giant strides,” said Bowen on the club’s official website, www.qpr.co.uk earlier today.
“Everybody involved realised what that final day was all about.
“If we had gone down, this time next year we could have failed to get into the play-offs, or even slipped up within the play-offs.
“But I can guarantee you that this time next year we will be a lot healthier position.
“We are going to have a nice summer where we can relax, but we will look forward to returning now we’re still in the Premier League.
“We have got a nice pre-season tour ahead of us to focus on next.”
QPR are pressing ahead with plans for a new, state-of-the-art training facility and also investigating stadium options as Loftus Road currently has a restrictive capacity of just over 18,000.
After securing another windfall from Premier League income for next season, QPR were able to hold off on increasing season ticket prices for renewals.
Vice-chairman Amit Bhatia believes it is just rewards for the club’s long-suffering support after in 2001 Rangers were relegated down to England’s third tier for the first time in more than 30 years before successfully climbing up the pyramid.
“What’s the point in supporting the Club for all these years if then you can’t have the joy of watching your side when you are playing in the Premier League?” he said.
“That’s something that I just don’t want to happen to us. We need to always try and be fair to our fans.
“A couple of times this season I heard commentators saying they had never heard a noise in football like they did at Loftus Road, and there is a reason - it is because we have long-serving, loyal fans that genuinely love this football club.”