Comment: That's gratitude for you

Last updated : 31 January 2006 By Ben Collins
Barton's contract runs to summer 2007 and last week started contract negotiations over an extension.

But after failing to come to an agreement, Barton yesterday handed in a transfer request - which was immediately rejected by City.

His agent Willie McKay said on Five Live today that Joey's shock transfer request was not about money - he then stated that if City had offered what they asked for then Barton would have signed a new deal.

“Joey had a conversation with Stuart Peace yesterday. It is not just all about money. It is about where Joey Barton wants to go and where Manchester City want to go,” said McKay.

“If Manchester City had come back with the offer we had asked for, which in my opinion is below what Joey should be getting any way, then Joey would have signed the contract. It has not doubled his contract [money]. I think he is a little bit upset.

“I am appointed by Joey to do the best for Joey,” he added. “It is not just Manchester City, other clubs take you for granted when you come through the ranks.”

We should really be mounting a bigger challenge for a European place this season but are things really that bad at City that he suddenly has to go? I don't think so.

I think Barton, under McKay’s advice, is forcing City into a corner so that they give him a better deal, ie) agents are forcing the issue. Sound familiar? Shaun Wright-Phillips last summer perhaps? (and look where that got him!).

I actually agree with McKay to a certain extent over clubs taking former Academy players for granted, but he underestimates just what the club did for him last summer after ‘the Thailand incident’.

“During those difficult times, if he was not the player he was and was on the periphery of the team, a below-average player, in my opinion I don’t think Manchester City would have stuck by him,” said McKay.

Well, if I remember rightly, his ‘client’ wasn’t actually that much of a player back then. Yes, he had showed he could compete in the Premiership, but he wasn’t rated anywhere near what he is today. It’s only now, after he’s been given the club’s backing and a long run in the team that he has developed into a potential England call-up.

I said it last summer and I’ll say it again - it all reeks of agents trying to force a deal when their ‘client’ is at their peak and will generate the most profit for them. And Joey, like Shaun, should put his foot down and tell his ‘advisor’ to cut the crap.