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Players 'detached from reality', fumes Joey Barton

Newcastle's Joey Barton
Barton's career has been dogged by on and off-the-field disciplinary problems

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton claims the decadent lifestyles of many players puts them out of touch with reality.

Barton's own discipline problems have seen him jailed but he told Radio 4's Today programme that gave him a sense of perspective other players lack.

"A lot of them are so detached from reality it's untrue and there was a stage when I was like that," he said.

"It's only the fact I'm grounded by the trouble I've been in that's forced me away from being in the football world."

Barton also said the huge amounts of money players were paid added to their sense of isolation from the world that normal fans live in.

Lord Beer!!

"Driving round in flash cars and changing them like you change your socks, wearing stupid diamond watches and spending money like it's going out of fashion in the middle of a recession when some people are struggling to put food on the table for the kids - it's not the way to do it," he said.

Former Manchester City player Barton, 27, who has one England cap, has been plagued by unsavoury episodes the whole way through his career.

His list of misdemeanours includes stubbing a lit cigarette into the eye of a team-mate, slapping a fan, hitting Manchester City colleague Ousmane Dabo and assaulting a man during a night out in Liverpool, which earned him a six-month prison sentence.

I was forced to address my issues, either carry on doing what you're doing and your career is gone, or you address it

Joey Barton

And he admitted he could have been in even more trouble had other incidents been made public.

"That's the stuff people know about - there's stuff I got away with," he said.

"I'm very fortunate, because of my profile and the job I do, and the fact I'm in the public eye, it got addressed - I was forced to address my issues, either carry on doing what you're doing and your career is gone, or you address it."

Barton addressed some of his personal problems with counsellors at the Sporting Chance clinic, which helps sports men and women with lifestyle and addiction problems, and is now a vocal public advocate of the clinic's work.

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see also
Barton faces months on sidelines
02 Oct 09 |  Newcastle
Hughton cools Barton row claims
09 Aug 09 |  Newcastle
Barton 'stupidity' riles Shearer
04 May 09 |  Newcastle
Barton ruled out for two months
17 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Barton attack left victim scarred
07 Nov 08 |  England
Barton admits team-mate assault
30 Jun 08 |  England
Joey Barton is jailed for assault
20 May 08 |  England
Barton gets fine but escapes ban
10 Oct 06 |  Man City
Barton is fined over hotel fracas
27 Jul 05 |  Man City

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