Joey Barton may have retired from playing football – but is still causing controversy during his managerial career.
The newly-appointed Bristol Rovers manager never strays far from a scandal, whether that be on or off the pitch.
The former QPR, Newcastle and Man City midfielder has famously struggled to control his temper over the years.
Barton has been convicted of two violent crimes, spending time behind bars, and been charged with violent conduct by The FA on three occasions.
From teammates to opposition players and even the cast of The Only Way is Essex, there have been many targets of Barton’s behaviour.
Here is a look at some of his most disgraceful controversies.
Sparking mass brawl
Back towards the start of Barton’s career in July 2004 while at Manchester City, he sparked a mass brawl during a pre-season friendly.
Barton hacked down Doncaster Rovers player Paul Green which led to a 10-man ruck between opposing players.
He was then was left limping after receiving a crunching tackle back in retaliation – with clashes boiling over all over the pitch in the next 10 minutes.
After the match, furious manager Kevin Keegan laid into his player, claiming he would have got more than a yellow card in a Premier League fixture.
“I told him the truth – you either play football or you come off. There is no choice,” vented Keegan.
He added: “I have a problem with any player who just wants to go out and be physical all the time. There is no future in that.
“He has a nasty knock but hopefully he will learn from it because if he wants to fight, there are a lot of pretty tough players out there.”
Cigar stub in teammate’s eyes
During a Christmas party back in December 2004, Barton lost his anger in horrifying circumstances.
Barton, who was dressed as Jimmy Saville, lost his rag when he caught youth player Jamie Tandy attempting to set his shirt on fire.
In retaliation, furious Barton stubbed a lit cigar out in Tandy’s eye, leaving his teammate with a burnt eyelid.
City charged Barton with gross misconduct and was fined four weeks’ salary which came in at a club record of around £60,000.
Barton apologised for his actions and Tandy later sued his attacker, winning £65,000 in damages.
He also went to personally apologise to manager Kevin Keegan, with the then City boss revealing: “What meant much more was to see him stand in front of me in a room and hear him say how upset and sorry he was.”
Bangkok fracas with 15-year-old
Just six months after the cigar incident, Barton hit the headlines again during a pre-season tour in Bangkok, Thailand.
Hot-tempered Barton was aggrieved by comments made by a 15-year-old Everton fan at a Bangkok hotel, resulting in a fracas.
Reports claiming Richard Dunne was forced to step in as peacemaker, but Barton then turned on his own captain and the pair had to be pulled apart.
Barton was fined eight weeks’ wages by City after being found guilty of gross misconduct.
City manager Stuart Pearce ordered Barton to undergo a seven-day programme of anger management therapy.
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