QPR CEO: Rangers have ‘moved on’ from Barton signing
Club to assess controversial midfielder’s future at the end of the season
QPR chief executive Phil Beard admits the club will consider making Joey Barton’s loan move to Marseille permanent if the midfielder impresses in France this season.
Barton agreed to move to the Ligue 1 side on a season-long deal after he was excluded from QPR manager Mark Hughes’s 25-man squad in August.
The 29-year-old is midway through a 12-match ban he picked up after his sending-off against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of last season.
Beard defended the signing of Barton, who endured a disappointing season after joining from Newcastle United in August 2011, but said the club have ‘moved on’ and refused to rule out a permanent move.
“Everything is possible,” said Beard. “Joey is ultimately still a QPR employee. A lot will depend on how his move works out and we’ll look at it at the end of the season.
“We bought Joey when Neil [Warnock] was the manager and we needed to bring players in. We did it with the right intentions. But I think it is fair to say that the club has moved on significantly in the last 12 months.
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“Joey is a good player and will do a good job for the right team. I’m not looking beyond this season, but it is good that Mark feels he has ownership of a squad which he has put together.
“There is no question that Joey is a good footballer. If he can manage the other side of his life then he has two or three good years left to offer.”
Beard also advised that Barton should ‘focus on his football’ while in southern France, and suggested that the former Manchester City man could thrive at the club.
“Joey has a chance now. He had one or two options in the Championship which were not suitable for us or him,” added Beard. “This agreement works for everybody.
“When you’re in any situation, particularly in football, you want the right mood and spirit in the squad. I think that’s what Mark wants.
“You look at who he has brought in, his style both as a manager and a player. He has a squad who will work together, and there is no player bigger than the team.”
Meanwhile, striker Rob Hulse this week secured a loan move to Championship side Charlton Athletic. The 32-year-old was omitted from Hughes’s 25-man squad, and completed a three-month move to The Valley.
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