Joey Barton has delivered yet another parting shot at his former club Newcastle United, saying that it had “gone too mainstream”.
The former jailbird turned hipster has swapped Tyne-side for west London, joining newly promoted cashed-up club, Queens Park Rangers.
Despite signing on for a salary of 80,000 pounds a week – which he apparently doesn’t mind telling everyone about – Barton has publicly renounced capitalism.
“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind,” he said, shamelessly reeling off a passage from the works of Adam Smith – the “father of economics”.
“QPR is a boutique club which suits a boutique player like Joey Barton.”
The midfielder told The Public Apology that he now refuses to play for a team whose stadium seats more than 25,000 spectators, swapping the behemoth St James’ Park for the boxy little Loftus Road, in the London suburb of Shepherd’s Bush – better-known for its Walk About and other Australian-themed pubs.
In the media brief we were under strict instructions to only ask questions in the third person and “never, under any circumstances look him in the eye”, but as it turned out, we were never in any danger.
Previously best known as the footballer most likely to stub his cigar out on your eyeball, Barton was firmly engrossed in his new favourite rag, The Guardian, which he had recently – having proudly improved his reading age to 12 – swapped The Sun for.
“I’m really looking forward to hitting up some vintage shops in Soho,” he quipped when asked about the perks of living in London.
Only a couple of months earlier, Barton turned up to pre-season training sporting a (now ubiquitous) Morrissey quiff and speaking in a faux mid-Atlantic hipster accent, confusing his newly signed foreign teammates.
“I thought this guy was supposed to be a fucking psycho,” said Newcastle’s new Senegalese striker, Demba Ba.
“Instead I couldn’t go a weekend without him inviting me to obscure gigs, in filthy back-alley shitholes. I couldn’t even buy a bottle of Cristal!
“Nobody else wanted to go with him and I kinda felt bad for the dude. But shit man, I didn’t get rich for this crap.”
Since his release from prison for bashing a man within inches of his life, Barton has reinvented himself.
He now considers himself to be somewhat of a Renaissance Man. Not only has he taught himself how to read (English), but has taken to tweeting Freudian passages (this, my fellow Apologists, is in fact real news). He is also quite partial to sharing his thoughts on Monet, Orwell and Nietzsche.
When asked by The Public Apology whether he had in fact read any substantial works (i.e. an actual book) by the German philosopher, or had simply resorted to Googling specific quotes, Barton’s face twitched in anger, as if he were channelling Patrick Bateman in the American Psycho business card scene.
After an uncomfortable silence, during which The Public Apology thought its face might be re-arranged in the same way as Ousmane Dabo’s, the conversation quickly moved on to music .
“I’m really digging The Smiths these days,” he said as if they had just broken onto the scene.
“I’m also rocking out to The Fall and Joy Division on my iPod right now.”
At the risk of reporting too much real and accurate news, this too is in fact, um, fact.
“Being at [Manchester] City was great for the music, but then the club was bought by a dictator and I simply had to move on. It was a great injustice to the proletariat,” he noted.
Barton, a native of Liverpool, also revealed that he couldn’t handle being around brash Newcastle folk and grew tired of Geordie mega-clubs playing obnoxious fist pumping music and promoting this kind of thing.
“The lack of intimate venues was really the last straw,” he said.
There was an instant bond when The Public Apology lamented to Barton that its own city’s nightlife was being similarly destroyed by some rich twat who kept buying live music venues and turning them into bogan-magnet booze barns.
Barton was not the only hipster footballer to move to west London this transfer window.
Fellow (more-established) hipster footballer Rual Meireles also swapped the grimy north for the cosmopolitan capital, when he completed a surprise switch from Liverpool to Chelsea.
“I originally moved to Liverpool out of irony,” said the sailor tat-covered Meireles.
“You know, it’s the home of the Beatles…. But it turns out that the place is full of scummy chavs and some cunt kept breaking into my house every two weeks.
“He actually kinda looked like Wayne Rooney.”
CCTV footage later confirmed that the offender was indeed Rooney’s delinquent brother, Graham.
By Mike Davis