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Barton too costly for Villa, but should we sell him anyway?

Posted on January 11th, 2011 | 84 Comments |

Joey Barton, Newcastle United
Wax on, wax off
Aston Villa’s attempts to lure Newcastle’s Joey Barton to the midlands club looked doomed to failure.

Villa are in Premier League freefall at the moment and Gerard Houllier has had his eye on Joey Barton as one who might pull the emeregency ‘chute and help them avoid a relegation battle.

Rumour has it that Houllier was trying to tempt Newcastle to let go of Barton with some cash, Nigel Reo Coker and an old motorbike.

Today’s reports suggest that rumour was wrong though (particularly about the old motorbike) and that Barton’s £6m fee and £67k/week wages just proved to be too much for Aston Stinky, who already have a £71m wage bill that they’re desperate to reduce.

Barton himself has allegedly expressed a desire to remain at Newcastle but I wonder, though, if we should try to sell him.

Now, before you all tar and feather me and run me out of toon, I’m well aware of the fantastic contribution Barton has made to the team this season. At his best he can pass the ball the width of the pitch and land it on a sixpence and he’s a genuine play-maker. He’s not too shabby in the tackling department either.

However, he only has 18 months left on his contract and I suspect Mike Ashley would rather dangle his todger in a crocodile pit than renew a £67k/week contract. So I’m wondering if it’s better to take £5-£6m for him now if we can – and put that money towards a replacement – rather than letting him go on a free in 18 months time.

Of course it’s possible that Barton might accept a much lower deal than £67k/week and sign a new contract, but if his form remains as good as it has been he’ll probably figure he’s worth £67k/week and some club may tempt him to sign if they’re just willing to pay his wages.

There are other possibilities too of course. Ashley might indeed fork out £67k/week again (although I doubt it) or they may bash out a mutually acceptable reduced-wage contract.

But, without too much conviviction either way, I’m just weighing up the pros and cons of selling him if a decent offer comes in.

What do you think?

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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84 Responses

  1. no way renew his contract and pay him whatever he wants.. By far the best British midfielder this season!

  2. Barton has been a star this season and would be a big miss. However, can we afford to renew his contract at £60000+ and is now the time to cash in while he is playing as well as he is. A difficult one but if we are going to sell we must make sure that we have a replacement lined up who will do as good a job as Barton.
    I suppose his volatile temperament is also a factor to take into consideration and his fitness record has not been good since he joined us.

  3. We’d be mad to sell Barton before the summer at the very earliest but I reckon Barton would like to stay a lot longer than that-he’s very happy here so hopefully he’d take a bit of a pay cut to stay here in Toon.

    Where else is he going to get the kind of support he gets here. In any case he’s approaching 30 now so he has to realise he cant demand top dollar wages for ever.

  4. It’s probably completely irrelevant, but Barton really does owe Newcastle United after all the trouble, and financial expense he has caused for the club in the past. Of course, he’s making up for it somewhat now with some good performances, but there’s still quite some way to go.

  5. Unbelievable!!! The team has no craft at all with out Barton. To even slightly consider letting him go you are completely insane! It brings me to the conclusion that the author of this does not go to home games!!!!!
    Bartons effort and endeavor is plain to see over the full 90 minutes and not Match of the Day highlights!
    We need to throuw everything we have at him to keep him!

  6. It’s not worth it. He’s way to important for the team, he’s been without any doubt the most important player on the pitch for Newcastle. Atleast this season. That’s my opinion.

  7. Christian>

    Agreed, plus Xisco. £120/week saved. We could even get mercenary Micky Owen back for that!

    I’d rather play Perch up front. ;o)

    Ur dead right though. There are far, far better ways to reduce our wage bill.

  8. TheGhostofGeordieDan says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    “Agreed, plus Xisco. £120/week saved.”

    Who’s going to pay Smith and Xisco £120 per week? That’s pushing it a bit, Dan!

  9. Sell him and we’ll be relegated for sure
    More likely Ashley will try to cash in on him once season is over tho doubt we’ll get that much for him then as only a year on his contract will remain
    Toons best player by far, staying in prem is worth at least 20 million

  10. Nobody wants Smith, who is going to pay 6oK a week and any transfer fee for Smith? We are stuck with him until his contract is up.
    I suppose looking at the Larsson situation where the deal has broken down through wages, we will struggle to attract anybody of Barton`s calibre because we won`t pay the wages. So better keep what you`ve got

  11. larsson playn for birmingham 2nyt , wots that mean? i thought we nearly had him??? any1 know anything ???

  12. Being totally honest Im going off Media reports and Football Manager figures, but I believe Alan Smith is on 60k a week and Xisco is on 55k or around that a week. If we can ship them two out its a nice little saving.

    Joey is a decent bloke and might take a pay cut but I see him just extending his deal, staying on the same wage as up to this season he didnt deserve it. Is Willie McKay still his agent?

    For Centre mid we have a good one I think, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gosling, Guthrie, even Smith is decent as back up, on the wings Ben Arfa and Gutierrez, we could be class if we can get a fast striker in and Id still love a dominant centre half.

  13. It would be à disaster too sell him now , he is one of the reasons we are in 8th place in the leauge . The lad has hit form this season and would walk into just about any other first team in the premiership .

  14. Mark says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    “Is Willie McKay still his agent?”

    Yes he is, Mark. He made a statement just the other day that Joey is still very happy at the club in the midst of all that Aston Villa swap guff.

  15. We don’t want that scum bag Barton! We don’t want him putting on a Villa shirt and we certainly don’t want him near any of the youth we have brought through. Bottom line is Barton is a disgrace, he is violent on and off the pitch and has show no signs of changing. I’d rather take Charlie Adam and no I don’t want him at Villa either.

  16. Lads, to put your minds at ease. I can tell you with 100% authority that Villa have not, and never will be in for Barton. The story is coming from somewhere but it’s not from the Villa. I’d suggest either Bartons agent is trying to drum up interest or your chairman is looking to sell. But again I stress, Villa have NOT even thought about making an enquiry. You can bank on that

  17. Firtle says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    “Lads, to put your minds at ease. I can tell you with 100% authority that Villa have not, and never will be in for Barton.”

    It’s OK, We know Firtle. Didn’t you read the story?

  18. Love the Villa fans getting all shirty, Seriously Barton would shine at Villa. Once you are relegated we’ll let you take a couple of our kids on loan to help you out when your mercenaries leave.
    Say hello to Milner for us. Oops.

  19. Cheers Worky ticket, and to the Villa fans saying you dont want him, good, its your loss and our gain, hes been brilliant this season.

    Army69, Yeah I seen the teamsheet and Seb is in there, Im unsure he would be good for us or not, rather have had Bentley but we will see. Being linked with Ziani and some player from Caen in France news reports.

  20. truevillan says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    “We don’t even want him, he is a thugs and chav, far better suited 2 your shit hole!”

    It’s a real shame that some Aston Villa fans can’t be as civilised as the excellent Birmingham City fans we had on here yesterday, truevillan. They could really teach you a lesson on how to behave.

  21. @ 20 “he is a thugs” ? is there 2 of him? he wouldn’t want to get relegated twice in 3 seasons anyway.

  22. Anyone else is going to cost money so why not put a a tenth of that transer fee into giving him another 5 gs a week. We want to keep him no doubt but lets face it. There are not many others who will pay his wages or risk pissing their supporters off by signing him and he knows he is loved at NUFC

  23. Also this is the crappiest rumour ever!!!!

    You know I’d like to get Messi in for Smith but his it would cost too much and his wages are too high.

  24. I don`t know when we play Villa away but I would just love it if we helped put them down. I was at Villa park when we were relegated and they wallowed in it.
    You deserve Beye and any other shit that comes your way

  25. Larson playing tonight and quietly covering his wing except for sending in poor free kicks and corners. He has a good sense of staying in position on his wing, but has not shown anything once the ball was at his feet. Comes back well on defense.

  26. VillaMan, I can understand your sentiments and a lot of Toon fans would agree with you. However he is a quality player and and we have gone through all of the sh!t from the media and opposition fans like you because of him. So we have borne our cross and are actually getting some benefit from his presence in the team so we are happy to keep him.
    I’d bet that Houlier would take him and the Liverpool thug in a flash given the chance. Perhaps a season (or more) in the championship might change your views.

    Still if your high moral stance is genuine and not another spurious opportunity to take a stick to the Toon
    then well done you are becoming a rare species.

  27. That’s what we’re already payin’em worky.

    Doesn’t matter what the other teams pay em as long as we aren’t paying it.

    The trick is getting rid of them, unfortunately they’re not exactly sought after players!

  28. Sorry, don’t agree with selling your best players. Only go in one direction when you start doing that, ask Middlesbrough, Leeds, Portsmouth and Arsenal all be it not to the same extent.

  29. mossa>

    If Villa are in a relegation fight on the last day of the season I’m going to get a ticket for the away end.

    I remember exactly how they were when we went down, no class at all, and they rubbed it in well and truly.

    I’d love to be there to ask them who THEIR next messiah is! Fingers crossed.

  30. Havnt we been paying him 60 odd grand a week for the past three years two of which he’s been bit part? So why get rid of him cos of wages???? He’s class best English midfielder this season by a mile. I’m a scouse Geordie an he’s my fav player cos he gives his all an wears his heart on his sleeve

  31. batty says:
    January 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    “worky, tom aye it was special k that did it for me”

    I did like Keegan’s quote on Ashley and Llambias though, batty. it made me chuckle.

    “Ashley knows nothing about football, and Llambias knows even less!”

  32. No need to worry about Larsson getting injured tonight,he and most of his tem mates have hardly touched the ball.Hope his mind is on other things and he’s not always that quiet.

  33. He should be called up for England but he won’t cos he’s joey Barton. I hope he doesn’t tho andy as well cos we av learnt our lesson sendin our players away with England havnt we

  34. Aston Villa have flirted with relegation for years under Ellis, managers like Taylor, O’Leary, they were always around 15th and 16th, Southampton done that and look at them now, Everton were the same.

    They got decent managers in MON and ET (Moyes), since MON left Villa they have been hopeless and now sit 18th, and Everton have been doing well on a shoestring, spending a little bit on a couple of players like Fellaini and Bilyaletdinov, now theyre showing the pressure too, Everton had signs when we went down lest we forget, two of the worst clubs in the Premierleague I think, scum, no class, hope they go down and stay down.

  35. Aye batty, Worky was right ha ha!

    Oh yes it would be a great pity if villa go down, it is such a lovely area as well! Might even go on holiday there, well maybe not.

    I am off to kip now, up at 5 again!

    Good getting back on, nice to hear you lads again-apart from that horrible villa chap suggesting our area is poor! Obviously only made it as far as Scumberland!

  36. Larsson got kicked by Obinna I hear? Seen he set up Brums equaliser with a good corner delivery.

    Last I heard his advisor was talking to us, thought something would have been spoken about today but nothing, if its going to happen it should be by Thursday Id have thought.

  37. poor villa lol shame they dont sell goals and points on ebay

    how about young+ agbonlahor+ cash for barton

    sounds more like a fair deal to me

    and who will be at villa next yr in the champ
    not sure you’d bounce back

  38. WORKY hes got tatto of him on his private parts that way hes always close to hand so ive been told by richie ;)

  39. Ha ha, I bet he does!

    Must admit our family has a soft spot for him, the way he was with us at center parcs a couple of years ago!

    He seems to be putting his head above water, and having a pop at fatash and lamebutt now as well!

  40. Mark, Villa were runners up under GT, and 6th under o’Leary, so at least do some research before you trap off.
    I’ve no issue with your club, Shearer remains the best english centre forward that I’ve ever seen, but be honest, if you could swap owners with us, you’d do it in an instant.

  41. Right gannin to bed, wor lass has just give me the wink! Don’t know if it’s a come on, or the splash in the eye when I was squirting me Tabac on!

    Night Lads!

  42. icedog says:
    January 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “WORKY hes got tatto of him on his private parts that way hes always close to hand so ive been told by richie”

    :lol:

    I could totally beleive that, Ice!

    BTW Ice, did you see that link to the Newcastle v Liverpool video from 1902 that I posted yesterday? I liked seeing St James’s back in those days, what thre was of it back then anyway! It was from the Mitchell and Kenyon collection.

  43. Worky @64…”BTW Ice, did you see that link to the Newcastle v Liverpool video from 1902″… who dya think shot the footage? ;-)

  44. Got to love joey, he’s turning into a class act.

    I don’t mind selling him, it’s just filling that gap. I don’t think we could replace him.

  45. richietoon says:
    January 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    “Worky @64…”BTW Ice, did you see that link to the Newcastle v Liverpool video from 1902″… who dya think shot the footage?”

    It wasn’t exactly Sky 3D, Richie. :-)

  46. “Aston stinky”?!

    terrible.

    Villa dont want Barton. He can carry on playing in his jail bird black and white stripes.

  47. Can’t afford his wages with our income? We have significantly reduced our wage bill so can surely afford one or two high earners. We CAN afford him and should expect to be paying that salary for some of our top performers. It was the likes of Geremi, Alan Smith(still), Duff, Owen etc, etc that caused us problems as they were on similar wages, but not producing the goods. Joey is!
    Stop talking about saving money. We need some top tallent/earners otherwise the money will just end up in fat Mike’s pocket.

  48. Love it how villa fans are on here spouting off. Mocked us when we went down. You reap what you sow lads. You get in Pires and he states in the press you lotare going down. Enjoy the championship

  49. It would be utterly reiculous to sell him! Barton and Carrol are the only two cosistent players all season, well Tiote is managing to consistently be in the ref’s book ;-)! I can’t bare to see Smith starting again – the guys an embaressment!

  50. Joey has to stay.Realisticaly who could replace him, he,s been the star of the show this season and seems to wear the shirt with pride, and thats a rare commodity. If the Toon want to progress and challenge the top end of the table they have to keep the quality players and add to them.

  51. I cannae believe Hugh you wrote such an article. The guy is the best passer of the ball by light years at the club. Are you one of these goons that want to see Guthrie do a half turn and pass the ball sideways.
    Clown

  52. Didn’t anyone tell you that a team has never been relegated in January?

    Let’s who’s where come the end of the season before we get carried away!

  53. TheGhostofGeordieDan
    “If Villa are in a relegation fight on the last day of the season I’m going to get a ticket for the away end.”

    How pathetic? NUFC could have played anyone on the last day of the season and lost.

  54. By the time Barton’s contact is up, he’ll be 30. I reckon he’ll probably take a pay cut, even if only a small one.

    Villa fans – Wind yer necks in will ya. We’ve every right to have a pop at you for the way you behaved (like arseholes, by the way) when we were relegated. Barton would walk into your first team, and yes, you are in trouble. Sort it out before you shoot it off, yeah?