Gordon Taylor has strongly condemned Joey Barton, claiming the QPR captain fully deserves a lengthy ban for his antics during and after Sunday’s defeat at Manchester City.
Barton’s future at QPR is in doubt after he elbowed Carlos Tevez, kicked Sergio Aguero and appeared to headbutt Vincent Kompany during Rangers’ 3-2 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.
The Rangers skipper has until midday tomorrow to decide whether to appeal two charges of violent conduct – charges which could land him with a 10-match ban if he is found guilty.
Barton caused outrage after the red card by taking to Twitter to launch an expletive-ridden attack on Match of the Day duo Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker, who both criticised the midfielder for his actions on Sunday.
Barton sparked further controversy in the immediate aftermath of the game when he claimed he had attacked Aguero and Kompany when leaving the pitch after one of his team-mates had advised him to “take one of theirs down with me”, something which has hugely disappointed Taylor.
“If you come out with stuff like that you are going to deserve to be heavily sanctioned,” the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association said.
“He is his own worst enemy when he says stuff like that and he has been upsetting a lot of people in the game with good reputations.
“We try to deal with Joey Barton and it is not getting any easier.
“I just feel sometimes like it is pushing a boulder up a hill, it slips back and you decide whether to go again.
“It has certainly been a backward step for him and his future in the game.
“There are people that seem to be improving and then slip back, it is a human condition. No one is perfect but you only have one career.”
Barton has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the authorities down the years.
He stubbed a lit cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy while at City in 2004, left Ousmane Dabo needing hospital treatment after a training ground fight in 2007 and was jailed for six months for assault the following year.
Taylor, who has offered Barton advice through the PFA before, fears for the 29-year-old’s future, and believes more counselling may be the only way for him to address his problems.
“There has been quite a bit of counselling for him in the past which no doubt needs to be there in the future as well,” said Taylor, who was speaking at the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards in London.
“People ask us about his future but, regarding football, he is the biggest influence over it.
“He has spoken at different meetings we’ve had and speaks very well at times and for the most part is very convincing.
“At times, call it red mist or whatever, something there happens that triggers off problems.
“It’s back to square one again and that’s where we and here we go again to start to try and rebuild.
“I have not been happy with some of the things that have been said by him or about him.”
Barton was unhappy at Shearer’s claims that this was unlikely to be the last controversial incident in the player’s career.
Shearer, who managed Barton while he was at Newcastle, defended his comments, saying: “I wasn’t critical. All I said was that he has done it before and he will do it again. Does that surprise anyone?
“I don’t want to talk about him to be honest. I made my analysis on Sunday night and I don’t think it was unfair or unkind.”