LONDON (AFP) –
Queens Park Rangers’ Malaysian owner Tony Fernandes has said manager Mark Hughes will decide what punishment, if any, the club will impose on Joey Barton following the midfielder’s latest red card.
Barton was sent off during QPR’s 3-2 defeat away to Manchester City, for elbowing Carlos Tevez in a match that saw the hosts secure the Premier League title with two stoppage-time goals while the Londoners avoided relegation.
However, the QPR captain compounded his error by kicking Sergio Aguero and attempting to headbutt Vincent Kompany before being escorted off the pitch by his team-mates.
Barton will now be banned for QPR’s first four games next season but he could end up with a longer suspension — possibly up to nine matches.
Fernandes, who bought the club before the start of the season, was adamant he would play no role in deciding any internal punishment for the 29-year-old.
“I will leave that to the manager and the chief executive (Phil Beard),” Fernandes told Sky Sports on Monday.
“Now we just want to focus on the positives. It’s a little bit early to talk about that.
“I will not step in. My goal at the club is to bring in the right infrastructure and the right people, I leave the manager to manage the players.
“Of course the board will be involved, but we will let him come to us and say: ‘This is what I would like to do’.”
After the match, Barton quickly pointed the finger at Tevez in a series of posts on Twitter.
“Can do nothing but apologise to the players and the fans. Still don’t think its a sending off,” he wrote.
“The head was never gone at any stage, once I’d been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me…Never worked but god loves a trier.
“Think a few people are forgetting Tevez started the fracas by throwing a punch to the head…?
“Right am off for a bit. Gonna enjoy QPR still being a Premiership club with all my team-mates. Cheerio people.”
But Barton again took to the social networking site to launch a series of expletive-laden attacks against his former Newcastle manager Alan Shearer, who’d criticised his conduct in his role as a pundit on the BBC’s Match of the Day.