Newcastle in war of words

Newcastle chairman Derek Llambias and former player Joey Barton have entered into a war of words regarding the midfielder’s exit from the Tyneside club.

The now QPR skipper stated earlier in the week that he left Alan Pardew’s side due to a disagreement over player bonuses, but the Toon executive has rubbished these claims.

“In a week when one of Newcastle United’s most beloved footballers passed away, it is disappointing that once again Joey Barton makes the headlines,” an official statement from Llambias reads.

“It is also unfortunate that Joey chose to draw such a disparaging comparison between himself and the employees of Sports Direct, who through hard work and dedication are the recipients of one of the most generous bonus schemes in UK retailing.

“It may not be a lot of money to Joey, but over 2,000 Sports Direct employees earning £20,000 will receive shares worth over £44,000 over the next two years.

“However, in this week of all weeks, we really do not wish to engage in a public war of words with Joey Barton.

“Our legal advisors are dealing with the matter now and we would encourage Joey to concentrate on his football at Queens Park Rangers,” it concluded.

Barton hit back via social networking site Twitter, and challenged his former employer to take a lie test to get to the truth.

“Seen Llambas comments, he is crass and has no class. I’ll leave it for another day but if he wants to take a polygraph live on tv, lets do it,” he stated.

“Not only do I have insurmountable amounts of proof (texts etc) but also about 6 others players who will concur. Am ready when u r Derek,” he said.

By Gareth McKnight