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Nike give Barton the boot

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Jul 2008

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Joey Barton, released from prison this week following his conviction for assualt in May, has lost his 40,000 pound (62,000 dollar) a year boot sponsorship deal with Nike.

Newcastle and in particular manager Kevin Keegan have backed the player who has been told his place at St James's Park is safe for the season, but it was a different story with the sportswear giant.

A spokesman for Nike said: “We have provision in all our sponsorship contracts that take into account any actions by an athlete that bring the brand into disrepute.

“While Joey is a talented footballer, we cannot condone or accept what he did.

“Back in May when he was found guilty, we immediately terminated his contract.

“We certainly have no plans to re-sign him now that he has been released.”

Barton served 74 days of a six-month sentence after being jailed following an incident in Liverpool city centre last year.

The midfielder was also given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training session in 2007.

Newcastle have said the 25-year-old will be given the chance to rebuild his football career at St James' Park.

A statement released on Tuesday read: “Newcastle United officials can confirm they have met with Joey Barton today, following which it has been agreed by everyone involved that Joey will remain with the club.

“The club will not be making any further comment at this time.”

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