UK & World News
QPR's Joey Barton Banned For 12 Matches
Joey Barton has been banned for 12 matches and fined £75,000 at an FA disciplinary hearing following his sending off at the Etihad Stadium 10 days ago.
The FA said the 29-year-old received an automatic four-game suspension, with the additional eight matches a consequence of the manner of his dismissal.
The chairman of the regulatory commission, Brian Jones, said: "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."
Barton was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez to the ground early in the second half of Manchester City's Premier League title-winning game.
The QPR midfielder then compounded the offence by felling the City striker Sergio Aguero in the aftermath, before appearing to aim a head-butt at City defender Vincent Kompany.
The FA is punishing Barton with an automatic four-match ban for the sending off and is charging the player with two counts of violent conduct for the other incidents.
Barton has accepted the charge for his action against Aguero but has denied violent conduct against Kompany.
He was represented at Wembley by experienced barrister Nick de Marco, who was expected to argue the player was provoked.
His club QPR had put its investigation into his sending off on hold until the three-man independent disciplinary panel had ruled on behalf of the FA.
Jones sat on the panel that handed an eight match ban to Liverpool's Luiz Suarez after he racially abused Patrice Evra last season.
Barton has three years to run on his reported £90,000-a-week salary at Loftus Road but the club will think long and hard about what reputational damage he has done.
The former Newcastle United player appears to have attempted to turn his life around since he was sent to prison in 2008 for a drunken attack in Liverpool during a night out.
He has become outspoken on Twitter, often quoting the philosopher Nietzsche among others, but his tweeting has also descended sporadically into written attacks.
He barracked both Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker on the social networking site for criticising him after the events at the Etihad Stadium. In the recent past, the FA itself has warned Barton over some of his activities on Twitter.
No matter how much he might try to step away from his bad boy image, the Huyton-born footballer will not be allowed to forget his troubled past.
He attacked a Manchester City youth player, Jamie Tandy, in 2004, stubbing out a cigar in the player's eye. In 2007, he attacked then-fellow Manchester City player Ousmane Dabo from behind during a training ground spat.
The longest ban of recent times had previously been the 11-match suspension handed down to Paolo di Canio in 1998 for pushing over a match referee.