Premier League - Barton fined, made to train alone
The outspoken midfielder has been a vocal critic of his club’s transfer policy after key players Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan were sold and others - including himself and Jose Enrique - allegedly not offered representative contracts with current deals set to expire next year.
Barton’s tweets over the weekend appeared to be the final straw for club chairman Mike Ashley, and he was told he could leave the club on a free this summer.
The news came after he continued his Twitter war against the deeply unpopular hierarchy at St James’ Park, and the former Manchester City player revealed he had received a fine of two weeks’ wages, which he would appeal.
"Ha ha the inevitable, 2 weeks wages fine has just arrived," Barton said on Twitter. "Needless to say it shall be appealed forthwith. #kickingamanwhilsthesdownha."
Team-mate Enrique, who like Barton is at a contract impasse with Newcastle, was fined a similar amount after criticising the club on his Twitter account last week.
In that rant the Spaniard accused the board of lying, a tactic which Barton appeared to suggest was becoming the norm at the club.
"If the club want to put out all these false statements via (local newspaper) the Chronicle, then let them do that," Barton said in reference to today’s anonymous report claiming he had fought with team-mates and was being punished for "poisoning" the atmosphere at the club.
"Everyone here knows I speak the truth..."
Earlier on Tuesday Barton revealed that he arrived for training following his transfer-listing only to be told to work alone.
Barton is believed to have rejected a pay-cut deal, while Enrique insists the club have reneged on promises to offer him an improved contract.
Those incidents, plus a summer transfer outlay of around £6m so far, have led to concerns that Ashley is asset-stripping and replacing key players with cheaper foreign prospects - all of which points to a possible sale.
Toon fans, meanwhile, appear to have sided with Barton, who was named player of the season for 2010-11 after his goals and assists helped the club avoid relegation by seven points on their return to the top flight.
Barton was statistically Newcastle's most effective player last season, with the club failing to win any of the six games he missed through injury and suspension, scoring twice as many goals when he was present.