Football's 'philosopher king' will be spending the next few weeks away from QPR. Back of the Net's John Foster explains all...
After being left out of his clubÃ¢ÂÂs pre-season tour of Malaysia, QPR bad boy Joey Barton has opted link up with soft-rock mainstays Fleetwood Mac, joining the veteran hitmakers for a number of aerobic fitness workouts and bluesy, chilled-out jams.
The move comes as a surprise, given that Barton, who is serving a twelve-match ban for his part in a one-man brawl during the final game of last season, had previously been dismissive of the classic rock genre, comparing it unfavourably to the alternative, stripped-down miserabilism of Mancunian indie pioneers The Smiths.
Moreover, Barton has been involved in a long-running feud with Stevie NicksÃ¢ÂÂ ex-boyfriend Don Henley of The Eagles, with whom Barton allegedly exchanged drunken insults in a Newcastle chip shop back in 2009.
"Am I leaving QPR? No, it's just RUMOURS! HA HA! GET IT!? Please RT"
But the bad blood following the 2010 release of the Henley-Nicks collaboration Joey Barton Is A Knob appears to have dissipated, after Barton tweeted to his 1.6 million followers that he is "Looking forward to sessions with Fleetwood this week," promising that he "will get a much needed funk on."
Ã¢ÂÂFleetwood Mac are a great institution,Ã¢ÂÂ Barton told FourFourTwo.com. Ã¢ÂÂEveryone knows that class is permanent, and I think a return to the glory days is just a matter of time. To be sharing a dressing room with Lindsey Buckingham, if even for a couple of weeks, is every playerÃ¢ÂÂs dream.Ã¢ÂÂ
Band founder Mick Fleetwood has also spoken up in support of BartonÃ¢ÂÂs move.
Ã¢ÂÂObviously our promotion to League Two took a lot of people by surprise,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre expecting this year to be a struggle, given that John McVie is 66, I have type two diabetes, and Lindsey Buckingham is probably better suited to lead guitarist than to the MakÃÂ©lÃÂ©lÃÂ© role.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre hoping Joey can share some of his experience and passion, though so far heÃ¢ÂÂs mostly just shown me some lyrics heÃ¢ÂÂs written,Ã¢ÂÂ continued Fleetwood.
Ã¢ÂÂI donÃ¢ÂÂt care about his lyrics. HeÃ¢ÂÂs a professional footballer, not a misunderstood poet, and I kind of wish heÃ¢ÂÂd remember that sometimes.Ã¢ÂÂ
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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