The Joey Barton farce at Sevco has veered into the surreal tonight after a 2 hour meeting resulted in a situation that is completely unchanged.
There’s no word on when he’s going to be allowed back, if ever, but as he continues to draw a salary that won’t terribly worry him.
For their supporters, the wait for answers goes on. The club and the player both are now hiding behind media statements which essentially say nothing at all. The highest paid footballer at the club is basically out on the fringes, a phenomenal waste of resources they don’t have. The board has clearly decided that the fans – many of whom bought season tickets on the back of this guy signing – don’t deserve to know whether he’ll play again.
A club with a senses of purpose and with strong leadership would have sorted this whole thing in two seconds flat.
If he’s done something that warrants this sort of open-ended removal from the training ground then there are clearly grounds to terminate his contract.
If all he’s done is give the manager a bit of verbal then the manager needs sitting down and told to get over himself, because this is giving the player iron clad grounds to terminate his own contract and sue for constructive dismissal, and then all bets are off because he’ll not be bound by a non-disclosure agreement or anything else.
I don’t think for one second that we know the full story here, but based on the information in front of us we can say that it’s Warburton who’s coming off worse here.
If there’s a side to this we’re not hearing – if Barton went much further and reacted more harshly than we’ve heard – then that’s one thing, but even that would leave the club looking weak.
All of this is highly entertaining to those of us who are watching this from the outside. The hype machine over this guy was incredible. That it was bound to end in tears was all too predictable. But the club’s handling of it, well that’s guaranteeing that the saga drags on and on and on, and at a time when the media and their fans should be focussed on other things going on there this is what everyone’s talking about, and I’d say that might be the point except that it would give them far too much credit.
This really is as shambolic as it looks.