Tony Gillan: Joey Barton should be given retrospective punishment for diving

Burnley's Joey Barton
Burnley's Joey Barton
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The game of the weekend was undoubtedly Lincoln City’s win at Burnley.

It had the added attraction of Joey Barton behaving yet again like a perfect dipstick.

Almost a week had passed since he had done anything stupid, so it was safe to assume that he had something lined up.

You could bet on it; although Joey himself would be advised against this at present.

After stamping on the foot of Lincoln’s Matt Rhead, Rhead opened his arms to beseech the referee whereupon he made slight contact with Barton’s hollow head.

The contact would have been insufficient to dislodge a Chihuahua from the edge of a coffee table, so Joey must be flimsier than he looks.

The soap-dodging has-been (he isn’t even good enough for Sunderland these days, so God knows why Burnley re-employed him), was given the run-around by the non-leaguers, but managed to heap even more embarrassment on himself afterwards.

First, he was given a yellow card that should have been a red for assaulting another opponent. Routine stuff for him.

But he would have to be acutely dim to claim that he wasn’t trying to get the big man (Rhead) sent off and expect anyone to believe him.

“Wasn’t trying to get the Big Man sent off” he claimed on Witter afterwards.

Inevitably another of his Tweets was regurgitated by nasty cynics.

In 2013 he said: “Players who roll around when nobody touches them should be subsequently banned. I hate cheats.”

Is he after a job in the White House?

His acting in 2011 in a game for Newcastle against Arsenal was even less convincing. But he somehow succeeded in getting Gervinho sent off that day, an incident that Match of the Day decided against reminding us of on Saturday.

The only way to make events at Turf Moor more amusing would have been to allow Rhead and Barton to fight it out. It would have been wonderfully one-sided.

Joey will now proceed to turn over one of his inexhaustible supply of new leafs, until episodic dumbness takes his fancy once again.

It may be fun to mock the ridiculous, but there is a serious aspect to this. As the Prophet Barton himself added in that 2013 Tweet: “Authorities should address it.”

Indeed. What good reason is there not to give retrospective punishments to divers?