He may be about as good for a team’s moral as the news that footballing bicycle Imogen Thomas has picked up syphillis, but QPR still stuck with Joey Barton instead of manager Neil Warnock last month.
Warnock blamed his sacking on everything from Twitter, to player agents, to mysterious outside influences at the club. In every example, he meant Barton.
“Tony [Fernandes, chairman], who’s the one really who sacked me, I know the influence that he’ll have had from certain people in the last few weeks will have been difficult to resist,” Warnock said. “People get on the phone and tweet every five or 10 minutes, and it’s almost like slowly poisoning somebody, from outside the club and no doubt from within the club as well. It’s a dangerous precedent if you let players talk to chairmen, but you can’t stop Twitter and things like that.
“When you have a run of results like we had and you’re not involved in football and you get people in your ear – agents, for example – tweeting him and speaking to him and talking about players … there’s some clever and manipulative people. I’ve no bitterness towards it. It’s just how things go.”
In other words, Warnock was shafted by cash-hungry money men only interested in themselves. That run of eight games without a win probably didn’t help things though either – as Barton later pointed out. On Twitter.
“Lost his job and the guy is blaming everyone but himself! Embarrassing, time to look in the mirror mate. Last thing we need right. Big week,” Barton posted while plotting the downfall of Mark Hughes.