Joey Barton will be suspended for a total of 12 games for his actions against Manchester City in the season finale, according the FA's official site. He was already out for a total of four games from the red card he received and an independent regulatory commission added eight more today.
The chairman of that commission issued the following statement along with the punishment:
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.
The Queens Park Rangers star was charged with two counts of violent conduct after being sent off during the team's loss to City. After elbowing Carlos Tevez, which caused him to get sent off, he kicked Sergio Aguero and attempted to headbutt Vincent Kompany.
Barton has been no stranger to controversy during his career. It's the third time he has been charged with violent conduct by the FA. Previous incidents included Ousmane Dabo and Morten Gamst Pedersen, making him a repeat offender.
It's unknown if those previous issues had any effect on the suspension handed down today, but it's clear Barton has trouble keeping control of his emotions when tensions are running high. QPR were trying to pull off a huge upset when he got sent off, leading to a City comeback against 10 men.
Based on his actions, it's a fair punishment. The Premier League can't have these types of incidents hanging over it like a black cloud, especially after one of the most exciting finishes to a season in history. The Barton situation unfortunately put a damper on that.
The suspension is long enough for him to understand that what he did was unacceptable. No player should be kicking or attempting to throw headbutts at opponents, particularly while wearing the captain's armband. That's supposed to be a sign of leadership.
It was a good move by the FA to act quickly as a sign not only to Barton, but to all players, that violent actions won't be accepted under any circumstances and punishment for it will be swift and severe.