Newcastle star Joey Barton refused America visa
Published 13/07/2011 | 10:43
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton will miss the club's pre-season trip to the United States after being denied a visa.
The 28-year-old, who was given a six-month jail sentence after admitting assault and affray in 2008, has been denied the necessary permission to travel with the rest of the first-team Magpies' squad when they leave on Sunday. Newcastle said that Barton will instead link up with Peter Beardsley's reserves when they head for Holland on July 20.
Barton said in a statement on Newcastle's official website: "Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past. I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but at the same time, I don't expect to be treated any differently or more favourably than anyone else in a similar situation."
He added: "All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do.
"Again, apologies to all the NUFC supporters - as well as the fast growing legions of football supporters in the United States who I was looking forward to meeting. I will see you in the future."
The news will also come as a blow to manager Alan Pardew as he faces the prospect of having to do without a key member of his squad for a significant part of his preparations for the new campaign.
Newcastle will play three games in America against Sporting Kansas on Wednesday, July 20, Orlando City three days later and Columbus Crew on Tuesday, July 26.
Barton will instead work towards his match fitness in the second string's clashes with Hollandia, FC Utrecht and Almere City.
The former Manchester City player was one of the club's most impressive performers last season as he returned to his best to help the Magpies ease their way to a 12th-place finish in their first season back in the Barclays Premier League.
Pardew signalled his intention to tie him up in a new contract long before the campaign drew to a close, but having failed to agree terms in January, he was told at the start of the closed-season that he would not be receiving an offer.