Barton's jail stint must be a lesson to Toon young guns
Joey Barton's six month stint in jail for a "violent and cowardly act" outside McDonalds does nothing but put Newcastle United in a bad light.
It's bad enough when players don't do the business on the field but when they don't do the business on the field and then act like nutcases off it - it has to leave Toon fans, many of whom are currently scraping together money for their season tickets, wondering why they should bother.
Of course there are plenty of reasons why they should and will but this must be the end to players finding themselves struggling in the deep end.
For Kevin Keegan, Joey Barton - who he admitted had let him down before (at Man City) at his opening press conference and then threw him another chance - is a problem that he inherited from Sam Allardyce.
But after managing the player before, perhaps he is best equipped to get the best out of a player who can be one of the best in the business.
So far KK, has done that.
Indeed his performances in the last seven or eight games of the season showed he'd made steps forward.
There's nothing wrong with his attitude in training, Barton is one of the club's best trainers and even Big Sam admitted he couldn't keep him away from the training ground when he broke his foot.
It's evident that Barton's troubles stem from one thing and one thing only with today's court outcome testament to that.
Barton must serve his time now and like Tony Adams in his days at Arsenal, he must come out "fighting" the other way in football.
His custodial sentance will come and go and leave Barton with plenty of time to reflect on whether it's wise to go out drinking the day when you've been left out of the team (like at Wigan) and in a city where everybody knows your face.
And picking up the pieces there can be no better time to flag up this unwanted incident to the younger crowd at SJP.
Youngsters like Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua and David Edgar all have the world at their feet at the moment.
And by seeing one of their senior colleagues sent down they have to use this as a warning shot and concentrate on getting Newcastle United in the headlines for the right reason.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE JOEY BARTON SITUATION?