Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The argument about Joey Barton's last chance at Newcastle seems to be hinging on whether Kevin Keegan should "send a message" by keeping him on or sending him packing (albeit on disastrous financial terms). But surely this is, above all, a workplace safety issue. Barton has a history of unprovoked attacks on members of the public and team mates. He was convicted of causing actual bodily harm to Ousmane Dabo during a fracas at the training ground. If this were to have taken place in Sainsbury's or the Royal Bank of Scotland there is no earthly chance that any employer would give him a further chance or ask other employees to work alongside somebody who might assault them at any time. Multi-millionaire footballers have just as much right to be able to carry on their work without fear of violence as a bus driver does. Where is the Professional Footballers Association in all this?