Barton denied visa to join Newcastle on tour

LONDON - Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton will miss his team's pre-season tour of the United States after being denied a visa, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Newcastle depart on Sunday to play Sporting Kansas on July 20, Orlando City on July 23 and Columbus Crew on July 26.

However Barton, 28, who was given a six-month jail sentence after admitting assault and affray in 2008, was informed by the U.S. authorities he would not be granted a visa.

Instead, the club said on their website he will join the reserves tour of Netherlands.

"Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past," Barton said in a statement on the website.

"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 favourably 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 NUFC 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."