| 0.9°C Dublin

Fernandes still boss of Barton

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes maintains wantaway midfielder Joey Barton is still very much their player.

Barton is currently enjoying his loan spell at Marseille, but was quick to criticise his former team-mates following the Hoops' relegation on Sunday, describing some members of the squad as "maggots" and "w******" after the team's 0-0 draw at Reading.

The 30-year-old was banned for 12 matches and fined £75,000 by the Football Association for his behaviour in the defeat on the final day of last season at Manchester City.

However, Fernandes insists unless a transfer fee can be agreed then Barton, signed from Newcastle on a free in August 2011, would be expected back at pre-season training.

"Marseille have got to put an offer in. Joey is under contract and Joey would be a very useful player for Queens Park Rangers," Fernandes said.


Magpies deny reports of rift

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and midfielder Cheick Tiote have assured fans the players remain united and fully committed to the task of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

Responding to reports of disharmony among the squad following two thumping home defeats last month – 3-0 against local rivals Sunderland and then 6-0 at the hands of Liverpool – Cisse acknowledged the players were hurting but insisted they had a "strong bond".

"We are not happy about recent results," said Cisse. "Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team."


Season's over for Sessegnon

Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon will miss the rest of the season after failing in his appeal against the three-match ban for his sending off against Aston Villa on Monday night, the FA has confirmed.

The 28-year-old will now miss Sunderland's remaining three games against Stoke, Southampton and Tottenham as Paolo Di Canio's men battle for survival.

DALKEY United are holding a Golf Classic on Friday, May 10 at the Glen of the Down GC in Wicklow to celebrate 60 years in existence. Shotgun tee-off is at 2.30 and anyone interested should contact Frank Mullen at 0862522010