Furious Newcastle suspend Barton

LIVERPOOL: Newcastle have suspended midfielder Joey Barton until further notice after his red card at Anfield on Sunday and an alleged subsequent row with manager Alan Shearer.

Barton, who has spent time in prison and received several final warnings since arriving at St James' Park from Manchester City for £5.8m two years ago, marked his comeback from injury by clattering into Xabi Alonso during Newcastle's 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.

It is understood that Shearer, who had warned Barton in advance not to make any reckless tackles, refused to accept Barton's apology, and that the pair later clashed verbally in the dressing room. Barton has since been told to stay away from the club.

Barton would already have been suspended for Newcastle's final three games of the season at home to Middlesbrough and Fulham and away at Aston Villa, and also has a suspended six-game ban imposed by the FA on his record following his training-ground assault on his former City team-mate Ousmane Dabo in 2007.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton has been suspended from the club until further notice. The club will be making no further comment on the matter at this time."

Former Magpies striker Malcolm MacDonald, meanwhile, has called on Newcastle to get rid of Barton at the earliest opportunity – though doubts any other club will be willing to take him on. "With the situation the club is in, I think it is impossible for the crowd to accept this behaviour," he told Setanta. "The guy has continuously bought Newcastle United into disrepute. It really isn't good enough. In the short time he has been at Newcastle, he has either been injured, in prison or in trouble. Enough is enough.

"What Joey Barton wants to do with his career is up to him, but I think he will find it very, very difficult to find employment in this country in football. Heaven help whatever club he does join."