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Barton gets 12 match ban

The attempts to rehabilitate Joey Barton looked somewhat misguided at the end of the season. After broadsheet profiles that tried to portray him as a cultured philosopher, it was unedifying to see him lashing out at everyone within reach as he was sent off for violent conduct against Manchester City.

Now his Premier League career looks in doubt as he was handed a record 12-match ban for his conduct in that match. The ban was accompanied by a message from the Football Association making it clear how seriously they took the offence.

The statement from the regulatory commission 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."

After being dismissed for striking Carlos Tevez, Barton kicked Sergio Agüero and made a lunge towards Vincent Kompany. Barton later tweeted that he had been "trying to take one of them with me."

"Barton accepted the charge of violent conduct against Agüero but denied the second breach of violent conduct against Kompany,” the FA statement read. "The independent regulatory commission, however, found this second charge proved."

Barton now faces an uncertain future at QPR, where there have been discussions about what to do with the player. It might also be a while before he is invited to offer his thoughts on art or society to The Observer again.

Barton will keep us all updated on his Twitter feed. His final word on the incident had been a quotation from The Smiths: "There are brighter sides to life and I should know, because I’ve seen them but not very often."

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