JOEY Barton today spoke of his disappointment after being refused a visa for Newcastle’s pre-season tour to the United States, writes MILES STARFORTH.
The midfielder (pictured) will now travel to Holland with the Magpies’ reserves while his team-mates play three high-profile games across the Atlantic.
Barton was denied a work visa by the US Embassy because of his criminal record.
The 28-year-old had visited the country on holiday this summer, and Newcastle were hopeful he would be allowed to enter.
However, the embassy has stricter criteria for work visas, and the club today revealed they had been informed he would not be able to travel for this month’s games against Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City and Columbus Crew.
However, Barton – who has been teetotal since committing an assault in his home city of Liverpool in December, 2007 for which he was later jailed – is hopeful he will be able to play in America in future.
“Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past,” said Barton, who will make his seasonal debut in Friday night’s friendly at Darlington.
“I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but, at the same time, I don’t expect to be treated any differently or more favorably than anyone else in a similar situation. All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do.
“Again, apologies to all the supporters – as well as the fast growing legions of football supporters in the United States, who I was looking forward to meeting. I will see you in the future.”
Barton will travel to Holland with Peter Beardsley’s second string, which will play games against Hollandia, Utrecht and Almere City.