Barton had other options
Joey Barton has revealed that he could have gone to Fenerbahce or Valencia rather than Marseille, but he hopes to win trophies in France.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/09/12 1:51pm
Joey Barton has revealed that he could have gone to Fenerbahce or Valencia rather than Marseille, but he hopes to win trophies with the French club.
Barton sealed a move to Marseille on deadline day, signing a season-long loan deal with the Ligue 1 side after falling out of favour at Queens Park Rangers.
He says he did have other options in Europe but is happy to have plumped for Marseille, where he hopes to fulfil his ambitions.
"I come to Marseille to win trophies. I don't come for holidays or as a tourist. It is a challenge for me not only on professional level but also personally, discovering a new culture," the midfielder told L'Equipe.
"Did I have others contacts? Yes, I talked to Fenerbahce and Valencia. But I didn't hesitate long when Marseille came, it was a good challenge for me."
Barton was banned for 12 matches by the Football Association following his red card and subsequent violent conduct in the defeat by Manchester City on the final day of last season.
The incident added to Barton's bad-boy reputation but he believes there were also political reasons behind the FA's decision to punish him so severely.
He explained: "Did I really want to leave England? With my 12-match suspension, everyone said 'Let him leave, he is a good player, but crazy'.
"People underestimate me. I was in jail, when I got out, people didn't say I was a bad player, but that I was mad. It is difficult for me.
"Indeed, I did stupid things. But I am 30-years-old, and maybe I was part of five or six incidents. Either I was drunk or it lasted one or two minutes.
"Is the 12-match ban due to my reputation? Yes, and it is political too, because I have criticised the system a lot.
"I have criticised the national team. The same players are always called until they are 50-years-old. And you can see it has never worked.
"I am very critical towards the FA. Each time I have trouble, they call me and I go, sit down, meeting a 100-year-old man with a suit, who never played football in his whole life and tells me 'Mr Barton, you did something wrong'."