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Joey: Ban and losing armband hurts me

Joey Barton maintained his focus was on returning stronger to boost QPR's drive towards Premier League stability after accepting he deserved to be stripped of the club captaincy and fined six weeks wages for his sending off at Manchester City on the final day of last season.

Barton, 29, was hit with a lengthy suspension and fined £75,000 by a Football Association-appointed independent regulatory commission last month. He was dismissed for elbowing Carlos Tevez, then kicking out at Sergio Aguero as he left the pitch in the match on May 13, before aiming a headbutt in the direction of Vincent Kompany.

Following their own internal review, QPR have now imposed further sanctions on the controversial midfielder, signed last summer on a lucrative four-year deal following a free transfer from Newcastle.

Barton has been warned that his contract will be terminated should he "seriously breach the club's disciplinary procedures again".


Although Barton will not be part of Mark Hughes' squad for the pre-season tour of Asia, the midfielder insisted he would be fully focused by the time he eventually is eligible for selection again.

"I wish to put it behind me now and help QPR, once available of course, push on towards the top half," Barton, who is away on holiday, said in a series of Twitter posts.

"I was stupid and that what happens when u (sic) do dumb things. I am confident ill (sic) bounce back. Cannot wait."

Barton added: "I was reckless and deserved every punishment I received. Money comes and goes, it's not important to me. Losing the captaincy and missing 12 games is what really hurts."

Barton has a long history of controversy, both on and off the pitch.

QPR chief executive Philip Beard defended the club's punishment.

He said: "I am really pleased with the way in which the club and Joey have worked towards reaching a sensible conclusion and we fully believe he will respond to these sanctions in the correct manner."