It looks like there may be no way back for Queens Park Rangers and their last season's captain.
Joey Barton, the pantomime villain of the Premier League over the past several years, took to Twitter Sunday to voice his desire to leave the London club he led to avoiding relegation last season.
The row between Barton and the club seemingly stems from the player's on-pitch thuggery, especially in the last match of last season.
In that match, in which QPR were struggling to avoid relegation against Manchester City, Barton was sent off for felling Carlos Tevez at a crucial stage before kicking Sergio Aguero and almost fighting Mario Balotelli on the way off the pitch.
The fracas is still a talking point, as many still see it as a deciding moment of last year's title race. Because of the incident, the FA banned Barton for 12 matches to start this season.
As a result, QPR stripped Joey of his captaincy, fined him, shopped him around and apparently gave away his squad number without notifying him. The landing place most speculated about for the English midfielder has been French club Olympique Marseille.
Barton has made a habit out of using Twitter to express his wild thoughts:
I am hopefully that things will be sorted out soon. Other clubs are in but I only want to play in Marseille. This is the place for me...
Hopefully, QPR and Marseille can finalise the deal in the next few days. My heart is already in the Vélodrome...
Not gonna cry about it. Maybe it's just time to move on. I enjoyed parts of last season and believe I am more than capable of playing this
..year. But the manager doesn't. Such is life. I have no problem with this as its my fault I am banned for 12(10 now) games. When a person
...a decision he has to stand by that. I respect Hughes for this. I don't agree but accept his decision. I am not the type of player to
...sit on the sidelines and take the cash. It's not me. I could do that for the next 3 years but it's not me. I want to play football.
Hopefully, the QPR fans will accept that. I offered to resign from the club/contract when I got my ban. @tonyfernandes@Amit_Bhatia99 will
...testify that I am telling the truth. I accepted my punishment from the FA and the club for my behaviour against Man City like a man.
I could of appealed as is my right. I choose not to out of respect. But when I returned to the club. I am forced to train away from the 1st
team. I am stripped of the captaincy. Then, made to train at 3pm Then, I am hawked around on loan.
Then, I have my shirt number taken without any notice. Then, I read I wouldn't of been signed had the current regime been in place.
I accepted all this. I never once spoke out of turn or angrily towards anybody. I am a man. I can only take so much. I want to leave.
I hope to move on with my career, with my life. If that is in France, so be it. I don't want to be disrespectful to QPR but enough is enough
With such a public declaration of discontent, it now seems certain that the player and club will part ways.
However, as much of a liability as Barton can be on the pitch, he may have been useful to Rangers in their pursuit to stay up this season. In fact, after their first two matches, it looks as though QPR can use all the help they can get.
Meanwhile, it should be fun to see how the timebomb that is Joey Barton gets on in France (should he go to Marseille, that is).
After all, who wouldn't want to see him share a pitch with Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
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