Newcastle bad boy Joey Barton has hit out at his fellow professionals for being out of touch with reality. The 27-year-old reckons getting in trouble for his past misdemeanours, including his time in jail, has given him a perspective lacking in other footballers.
Barton told Radio 4’s Today (no, we don’t know either – perhaps he wandered into the studio) programme: “A lot of them are so detached from reality it’s untrue and there was a stage when I was like that. It’s only the fact I’m grounded by the trouble I’ve been in that’s forced me away from being in the football world.”
“Driving round in flash cars and changing them like you change your socks, wearing stupid diamond watches and spending money like it’s going out of fashion in the middle of a recession when some people are struggling to put food on the table for the kids – it’s not the way to do it.”
And when asked about his record of stubbing a cigar out in a team-mate’s eye, being jailed for an assault in Liverpool city centre, and a training ground attack which left Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo unconscious, Barton revealed that there was other incidents which he managed to keep under wraps.
He said: “That’s the stuff people know about – there’s stuff I got away with.
“I’m very fortunate, because of my profile and the job I do, and the fact I’m in the public eye, it got addressed – I was forced to address my issues, either carry on doing what you’re doing and your career is gone, or you address it.”
There you go, folks. A reformed character…