Date: 23rd October 2008 at 8:13pm
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Having done the crime, served the time and seemingly everything else in between perhaps it`s the time to finally give Joey Barton a break. Barton makes his reappearance this weekend with the endorsement of PFA Chief Gordon Taylor ringing in his ears. Taylor has backed his member, saying:

“There is a time when the talking has to stop and everybody has got to give the lad a chance to show what he can do on the football field of play and let his football do the talking and then come back to the other issues in maybe 12 months time and then see that he’s shown that people who cross over the tracks are able to recover, it is possible to get back.

Maybe in a perfect world everybody would get the same treatment and the same care and concern, we have got to try and make it a perfect world. But I think he does accept a lot of what he’s done is almost unforgivable and from that point of view he’s shown that he is contrite and shown he appreciates the chance he has been given.

I hope that probationary work that he has done in the community will bring it home to him – there is a lot of people much less fortunate than himself out there. So yes, he has had a great opportunity to get back on track that maybe other people have not had and it is really up to him to take advantage of that and I hope he can show that a lot of people – like Peter Kay of Sporting Chance clinic that we support – that he can show Peter that all Peter’s work has not been in vain.’