This decision by the FA has reiterated their inconsistency when it comes to the suspension system. The FA announced that Joey Barton will receive a twelve match ban; he received an automatic four game suspension for the initial red card and the following eight matches for the manner of his dismissal. Barton was also fined £75,000.
The FA has suggested that they condone racism over ‘violent conduct’ which wasn’t that violent. Luis Suarez obtained an eight match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra and was fined £40,000. The PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor said “I was surprised at the severity of the punishment.” This now retrospectively seems as though he was let off lightly. In comparison to Joey Barton’s twelve game ban for his retaliation and tantrum subsequent to his dismissal. Aldershot forward Danny Hylton was also charged with an eight match ban after breaching two of the Football Association’s rules with a racial outburst however only received a fine of £1,000.
The FA continually changes the punishment on various situations within the game of football. They are frequently inconsistent in their decisions. Paolo Di Canio received an eleven match ban for pushing a referee in 1998. David Prutton also committed the same offence in 2005 yet only receives a ten game ban. The same offence however different results.
Danny Mills spoke to the BBC regarding the Barton punishment and states that is it ‘harsh’. He also suggests because of Barton’s reputation he was prosecuted further. “Because it’s Joey Barton, they have been particularly harsh”
There have been numerous incidents where the Football Association have contradicted their own decisions. Mario Baloteli’s stamp on Scott Parker’s head received only a four match ban due to a previous sending off in the season. Even Barton has previously only received a three match ban for punching Morten Gamst Pendersen in the chest. These two examples are more violent than anything that occurred at the Etihad yet Barton is still set to serve this lengthy ban. Barton displayed an act of retaliation whereby he appeared to have kneed Aguero and reportedly ‘headbutted’ Vincent Kompany resulting in three violent conduct acts which determine the twelve match ban.
The FA accused Barton of “Tarnishing the image of football.” They also suggested that the reasoning for the exaggerated ban was due to the high profile of the game. However this should be an irrelevant factor in the decision of the ban. Whether the same incident should take place with less publicity in a lower league the same rules should still apply. The FA is signifying the less importance of a match determines how much the participant will be punished, which is a ridiculous statement.
Barton will now miss over a quarter of the season depending on what Queens Park Rangers outcome will be. The situation has been blown out of proportion with the FA endlessly being inconsistent.
Do you think the ban was fair? Tweet me @gmileham1