Following the decision to charge Arsenal’s Eduardo with ‘simulation’, UEFA have today announced their plans to charge Newcastle’s Joey Barton with the significantly more serious offence of ‘simulating a professional footballer’.
Eduardo was charged after falling to a non-existent challenge during the Champions League qualifier against Celtic, but Barton’s offences have been shown to go back over many years.
Video evidence has been submitted to UEFA highlighting many examples of Barton’s simulation, as far back as an amatuerish two-footed lunge at an opponent during his debut in 2002 against Middlesbrough.
UEFA have studied thousands of hours of footage in which Barton pursues his opponents with violent intent, before attacking them in a method not usually employed by professional footballers.
A UEFA spokesperson told us, “He runs around a lot, and that can be very convincing to the untrained eye, but it is clear to us that he is lacking in all but the most basic footballing attributes.”
“We are charging him with simulation, and we will be pushing for an immediate ban.”
A former team-mate of Barton said the players had their suspicions he was simulating, but were reluctant to speak out.
“To be honest, nobody wanted to say anything for fear of having a cigarette stubbed out in their eye.”
Newcastle caretaking caretaker Chris Houghton said, “This is incredibly unfair, I trust that if they’re going to ban Joey, they are also going to investigate other simulated players?”
“Will they be looking at Phil Neville, Kevin Davies, Emile Heskey? It’s only fair that they investigate all of them as well.”
Upon hearing of Barton’s criminal convictions for violent behaviour, UEFA softened its stance somewhat.
“Well, we’re not completely married to the idea of ban. Consider it a holiday. An optional one. It’s sort of up to him really.”