x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

A transatlantic plight

It would have been interesting to hear Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton's conversation with an immigrant official had he been allowed to fly.

Joey Barton, centre, was denied entry to the United States.
Joey Barton, centre, was denied entry to the United States.

What a shame that Joey Barton was refused a visa to travel to the United States for a pre-season tour with the Premier League club Newcastle United.

Just imagine the scene at John F Kennedy Airport in New York had they let him fly - a battle between arguably the planet's two most prickly and volatile creatures: Joey Barton and a US immigration official.

Yes, just imagine …

 

Official: Step forward please, sir!

Barton: You want Joey Barton to step forward? Joey Barton has no problem stepping forward. He'll step forward to anyone, anywhere, any time …

 

Sir, you have stepped over the line!

Oh right, so Joey Barton has stepped over the line? Joey Barton has been here five minutes and already you are holding his past against him! Same old story. So much for the land of the free …

 

Sir, you need to step behind the line on the floor. Thank you. Now, are you Joseph Barton?

Yeah. Joey Barton is Joseph Barton.

 

It says here you are a professional footballer. So where is your helmet? Where are your pads, your eye make-up, your super-tight spangly pants, and all that other manly stuff you need to play this great sport?

Joey Barton's people call it football, you Shermans call it soccer. We just play in shorts and shirts.

 

Oh, I see. Sounds kinda girly. By the way, I'm actually Dutch.

You what?

 

You called me German, but my people originally came over from Dutch. It's near Europe. It sounds like a neat country. I hope to visit it one day.

No, not German. Sherman! Joey Barton was using rhyming slang: Sherman Tank means Yank.

 

Sir, you need to address your attitude problem.

You're not the first to say so, kidda. Now, why have you stopped Joey Barton? Is this about the cigar thing?

What cigar thing?

At that party that time, when Joey Barton jabbed that little blert in the face with a lit cigar.

 

Was the little "blert" a US citizen?

No.

 

Was the cigar Cuban?

No.

 

Was the party a Communist Party?

No.

 

Then we have no problem with the cigar thing.

 

Was it the Ousmane Dabo thing?

The Ousmane Dabo thing?

Oh, just some whopper at City. Surely you're not going to stop Joey Barton entering the USA because he belted a Frenchman?

 

Hmm … let me just check the list. Nope, assaulting a Frenchman does not prevent entry. In fact, it says here that you get a free stars-and-stripes pin badge. There you go.

Thanks. Ow!

 

Careful, the pin is sharp.

Now you tell me. Anyway, it was not the cigar thing or the Dabo thing, I guess it was the brawl thing?

 

Sir, that is correct. According to our records, you were sentenced to six months in prison for a violent brawl outside a McDonald's restaurant in 2007. Is that correct?

Joey Barton regrets that it is.

 

Do you realise how damaging to a reputation that kind of behaviour can be?

Yes, Joey Barton knows that he let down his city, his club and his country. But, worst of all, he let down Joey Barton.

 

Never mind all that, you let down McDonald's! You think America's greatest export does not have enough problems right now, without people like you brawling outside of their restaurants? I'm sorry, Sir, your visa is denied.

No problem. Do you take Mastercard?

 

No, Sir. Not a Visa credit card. An entry visa. You cannot come in.

Now Joey Barton is sad.

 

Weelll. I guess I could make an exception, considering you are from Liverpool. We Dutch should stick together, right? Perhaps when I visit you could show me where the Beatles lived?

Ah. The thing is, I live in Newcastle now. But I could show you where Cheryl Cole lived.

 

The girl from "American Idol"?

Yes.

 

Access denied. Next!