The Barton issue: it seems bizarre to suspend a player for four weeks after an incident, more so to extend that by a further week immediately before a clear-the-air meeting, but it’s not.
This has got nothing to do with the player. Whatever he did with a team-mate in the aftermath of our 5-1 win a month ago has nothing to do with his continuing suspension. Nor is the player’s subsequent charge for gambling on football.
I’m pretty sure it’s not even about money, or the player’s lack of ability. This is about the manager and his board. Who authorised his signing in the summer and on what basis was he employed? Warburton has played his hand by passing the issue up to his board. The board can try to impose the player on the manager, again, or they can find the money to make the problem go away.
Or maybe the manager will go instead.