Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

QPR meet to discuss future plans

Joey Barton (right)

QPR officials are meeting to discuss their summer transfer plans - with Joey Barton also expected to be high on their agenda.

Rangers are set to decide whether to accept two charges of violent conduct levelled against their controversial captain and also whether to take any internal action against him.

Reports have claimed they may consider trying to offload - or even sack - Barton, who has three years left to run on his contract, following his sending-off and subsequent behaviour in Sunday's Barclays Premier League defeat at Manchester City.

The midfielder was red-carded for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then kicking Sergio Aguero before attempting to headbutt Vincent Kompany. He will receive an automatic four-match ban as it was his second dismissal of the season, and could receive three-match suspensions for each of the violent conduct charges.

On top of that, the FA's regulatory panel will have discretionary powers to further increase the length of the suspension if charges are found to be proven.

Barton, who was given until 6pm on Tuesday to respond to the charges, claimed on Twitter that his violent actions were a cynical ploy to provoke a City player to be sent off, something the panel may well frown upon.

Barton insisted via Twitter that he had not lost his head but that a team-mate "suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me".

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes said Barton's future would be reviewed, but added that the 29-year-old had been an integral part of the club. "There are experienced people who will come back to me and we'll review the whole situation," he told BBC Sport.

Barton followed up his expletive-laden Twitter attack on Alan Shearer, his former manager at Newcastle and current Match of the Day pundit, by turning on the programme's presenter Gary Lineker, saying: "Back under your stone you odious little toad..."

As well as the Barton issue and possible transfer targets, QPR are likely to discuss which players to keep and which to move on from their bloated squad, one which narrowly avoided an immediate return to the npower Championship.

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