It seems that the club will not be renewing the contract of Joey Barton, who was voted Player of the Season by this site (and others).
Barton’s agent Willie McKay said:
“I had a meeting with Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias and club secretary Lee Charnley and they have indicated Joey will not be offered a new contract.
“Joey will continue to be a Newcastle player next season and then he will leave on a free transfer at the end of his contract.
“Joey would have loved to have extended his stay at Newcastle, but unfortunately it is not to be.”
The last we heard was that Barton wanted a four year contract and the club were only going to offer him a two year contract. Whether or not that’s anything more than rumour is uncertain, but it would be one thing that explains why Barton and Newcastle are parting company.
Barton has been in fantastic form this season and also seemed to be a much improved character off the pitch after a somewhat turbulent time which involved various brushes with the law and a spell at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. His play – out of his preferred position – on the right of midfield has been exemplary and the pinpoint crosses he was putting in have set up many a goal.
All indications from Alan Pardew were that he wanted to keep Barton but it seems that’s not the case now. Or at least not enough of a case to see the club make any compromises to Barton.
As expected Sol Campbell and Shefki Kuqi have also left the club. A spokesman said:
“Newcastle United can confirm that Shefki Kuqi and Sol Campbell have left the club. The pair are on contracts which expire this summer, and both players are free to find new clubs.
“Everyone at Newcastle thanks Shefki and Sol for their efforts while at St James’ Park and wishes them the very best for the future.”
That, I guess, is that!