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Trick or tweet...'s coverage of our number 7's week

A quick recap on the events as they unfolded:

In the final year of his contract, Joey Barton found out in late May that no new contract offer would be made to him (he'd been on the verge of signing a deal in January 2011, only to apparently change his mind when Andy Carroll was sold).

Appearing and scoring in the club's first pre-season friendly against Darlington, visa problems saw him barred from United's USA tour and he joined the reserve tour of Holland, earning praise for his positive attitude.

He then took umbrage at various aspects of Newcastle's 2-3 friendly loss at Leeds on Sunday (reputedly clashing with team mates and staff alike over the performance, the decision to hand Shola Ameobi the captaincy and news that he wouldn't take set pieces). 

Ignoring journalists after the game, Barton boarded the team bus and proceeded to air his grievances via social networking tool, twitter. The rest is history - and an opportunity for us to inflict multiple punning headlines on you, inspired by Joey's pal Morrissey....

Sunday - Barton tweets:

"If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place.

"If it wouldn't effect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose's comments would be the tip of the iceberg.....

"And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club.

"If I wanted to leave, I'd just come out and say 'I want to leave'. Things need addressing as am not prepared to go through a relegation again.

"Do u want the truth? or something beautiful? If I didn't care, I'd say f**k all and pick my money up.

"Sold? Not a chance matey. Am here till it expires or am given a free transfer..."

Monday - Barton Tweets:

"I won't be commenting on situation at Newcastle again, as I feel it helps nobody and serves no purpose. Hope u all understand.

"I will be making an announcement regarding my future, on here at 4pm today........"

However NUFC pre-empted that scheduled announcement by releasing a statement:

Monday - NUFC statement:

"Joey Barton has been placed on the transfer list today (Monday). The player has been advised that he can leave the club on a free transfer."

Monday - Barton tweets:

"Somewhere in those high echelons of NUFC, they have decided I am persona non grata. I am on a free but the honour of wearing those B+W stripes, surpasses that.

"One day the board might realise, what the shirt signifies. HONOUR and PRIDE. Thanks for your continued support."

Tuesday - Barton tweets:

"Made to train alone today, how predictable........."

"If the club want to put out all these false statements via the Chronicle, then let them do that. Everyone here knows, I speak the truth....."

"I also have too much respect for my teammates and the fans, to get in a tit for tat war with them. I have too much self-worth and dignity."

"Ha ha the inevitable, 2 weeks wages fine has just arrived. Needless to say it shall be appealed forthwith."

Wednesday - Newcastle players given the day off

Wednesday - Barton tweets:

"Just because ur told to jump, it does not necessarily mean u have to. I may choose to stand perfectly still. It's my right...just a thought"

Thursday - Barton trains with reserve squad

Thursday - NUFC statement:

"We understand the level of interest in the club's decision to offer Joey Barton a free transfer. However, it would not be dignified, nor would it serve any useful purpose at this present time, for either the club or Joey to air their private issues on this matter in public.

"The club and the player have important business to focus on over the coming days and both parties have come to an agreement that we will not comment further at this time."

Alan Pardew then faced reporters for his usual pre-match press conference, although freely admitting that his preference would have not to speak publicly at this time:

"I've never closed the door on anyone and I'm not closing the door on Joey. He trained with the development team today and, who knows, he may train with the first-team soon.

"It's a situation I didn't envisage being in. Joey is a great player and you want great players in your team. It's very important as a football club that you are all pulling in the same direction -- at this moment of time where Joey is not pulling in the same direction.

"That's not to say that can't change in a short period of time. I'm still reflecting on the situation, as is Joey at this present time, on how best to resolve this issue. I think that is important at the moment.

"Maybe if it wasn't for Twitter and this instant media it may have got resolved on Monday morning with me and Joey in my office. The problem with Twitter -- we need to get a hold of this - we have got nothing from the Premier League on how to deal with this.

People are tweeting when in an emotional state. Putting something out instantly can be very, very, damaging. Not only to a football club but to any organisation and it could be to the police too, which I've seen on occasion.

"I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson, and United's policy is that nobody at their club can comment about the football club (via social networks). It's in breach of contract if you are criticising the owner, the masseur, a player, anyone at the football club ... injury news, that causes problems too (presumably that's a reference to Jose Enrique tweeting that he wouldn't feature against Spurs last season, just weeks after Pardew's arrival).

"I'm not against those sites, and I don't think many managers in the Premier League are, but they have to be careful not to mention the football club."

"We've notified the players this morning- they've probably seen it as another sort of dictatorial moment from us but we've had to issue them legally with a letter to say this is not right, it's a breach of contract and you have to understand you're going to be fined and disciplined for that. It can't happen. Sir Alex shared with me quite ferociously how difficult this Twitter issue is for clubs, particularly managers.

"Joey will dictate what happens because he's got another year on his contract here. Joey will decide. But if he wants to stay then he has to pull in the same direction as us.

"Everybody was very angry this week and there were decisions on both sides that were made with that anger still at the surface but I cannot and will not run a football team where a player isn't pulling for the team. It was evident that whatever happened with Joey's mind affected the team. I can't accept that."

Thursday - Barton tweets:

"Does anybody have Isambard Kingdom Brunel's number?"

"Has sport in this country, stooped so low as to quote, my nonsensical social media ramblings. They will probably quote this sh*t! How sad???

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Page last updated 03 November, 2012