Newcastle ‘Too Mainstream’: Barton

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.

“Oh my God, it even has a watermark…”

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 .

Barton victim and former teammate Ousmane Dabo

“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.

“Some rich twat”

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.

Graham Rooney: wanted for breaking and entering

By Mike Davis

Neutral fan scorned for failing to support underdog at RWC

An Australian supporter copped a tongue-lashing from fellow spectators after he failed to rise to his feet when Japanese winger Hirotoki Onozawa raced away to score an unlikely try in Hamilton last Friday.

In the 58th minute of their Pool match against competition favourites New Zealand, Onozawa swooped on a loose pass and scampered forty metres to bring the scores to a still very lopsided 59-5.

A quick scan of an ecstatic crowd showed an incongruously blasé-looking middle-aged man in a Wallabies jersey, seated with his arms crossed. He appeared to look – if anything – unimpressed.

Even several New Zealand supporters surrounding him were seen to stand and applaud the veteran winger’s opportunism.

“Who the hell does he think he is?” Onozawa asked, post-match.

“Was he indifferent? Did he really not care? Why the hell did he even come to the game!?”

The euphoria was apparently not contagious

Several former Wallaby supporter greats were left dumbfounded by this one rogue fan who, rather inexplicably, failed to get that “warm fuzzy feeling” that comes with watching a minnow nation steal an unlikely five-pointer against a rugby powerhouse.

“He really needs to pull his head in,” former Fanatics head supporter, Barry Hunt, said. “We don’t need boofheads like him giving opposition teams any more motivation. It’s fucking un-Australian.”

The Australian fan has, however, received some support from an unlikely corner – Quade Cooper’s grandmother, Beryl.

Speaking with ThePublicApology via a landline connection, rugby’s newest go-to lady weighed into the debate with typically erratic Cooper style: “Who cares if he didn’t cheer? Why do you guys keep calling me?”

“Where’s my milk?”

By Al McClintock


Trent Copeland’s delivery arrested in Sri Lanka

Medium-pacer Trent Copeland’s delivery has been arrested and charged for going dangerously under the speed limit in Sri Lanka.

Colombo police confirmed reports that Copeland’s wily seamers had registered a feeble 110km/hr in a test cricket zone. The speed limit for international cricketers is generally 130km/hr, which put Copeland’s deliveries some 20km/hr under.

A police spokesperson said the force was tipped off by the amount of movement that Copeland was getting in the air and off the seam. “Any delivery that is wobbling all around the place, hitting the seam and threatening the batsman’s outside edge usually attracts some attention [from the police],” he said.

“We had no hesitation in pulling Copeland’s delivery aside after the game and asking it to consent to a Random Bowling Test. It failed the RBT miserably.”

The delivery was subject to an on-the-spot RBT

“We can’t have bowlers threatening the batsmen like this at test level! It’s outrageous that a guy who bowls a really consistent line and length, lulling opposition batsmen into a false sense of security through sheer persistence and shape, can be allowed to play test cricket.”

“It is our job to make sure that all bowlers at test level should be express pace, doing absolutely nothing off the wicket and leaking five runs an over,” he added.

Copeland’s delivery was taken into custody following day one of the third test against Sri Lanka and released on bail for A$400. It will face court later this month.

By Dave Edwards