Joey Barton may have risk after charged with assault and affray for an incident outside a McDonald’s restaurant in his hometown of Liverpool on December 27. Although he has been released from jail he still has to face a trial at Liverpool magistrates court on January 16.
Allardyce would travel to Hampshire after Newcastle’s FA Cup third-round tie against Stoke City tomorrow to meet Barton at Tony Adam’s Sporting Chance Clinic. Barton is staying there as part of the conditions of his bail following his release from prison.
Sporting Chance Clinic was founded in 2000, and began working with patients two years later. Since then it has quickly developed into one of the world’s most innovative centres for the treatment of behavioural problems among professional sports people, and has become an integral tool for a number of football clubs and other sporting organisations.
The Sun reported that chief executive of the Sporting Chance Clinic, Peter Kay, claimed he’d spoken about the incident to Sam Allardyce.
“Joey is very lucky to be at a club with a manager who is experienced and a good man manager. They’ve given him plenty of support.” He said, “He has got a responsibility to the club. His intentions are superb and honourable but you are judged by your actions.”
Big Sam said the Barton’s case was added more pressure for him this month as the United squad become even more thin because of the departure of four first team squad members to the African Cup of Nations.
“I have spoken to Joey just to find out from him and his solicitors what can and can’t be done from our point of view,” said Allardyce, “When we get all that information we will see how we go in terms of him starting training and when he can be selected again.”
Currently, the United lawyers are working to see if he still can play in any Newcastle United match before re-appear in front of Liverpool magistrates on January 16th.
“I’ve only spoken to him on the phone and he has apologised. He is obviously relieved he is out of prison. From there he has got to concern himself about his case and try to sort that out now.” Big Sam added more, “From our point of view, we need to keep him fit to play, if and when he is available again.”
“I’m not getting sucked into talking about how I felt when I was told about what happened. We can talk about that more when we get together face to face but it couldn’t have been worse timing for us and him.”
“I hope to see him after the Stoke game. I’ve got to focus on our FA Cup tie first and then I will go and see him.” Said Allardyce.