So Joey Barton has let himself, his club and the game of football down once more. Isn’t about time that football decides that it has had enough of the antics of one of the game’s most troubled characters?

Indeed, football has to decide whether it is happy to be a form of “care in the community” destination for people like Barton, because in truth, there are plenty of Bartons out there!

Barton was sent off this afternoon at the Etihad Stadium as his club, QPR, frustrated the life out of Manchester City as they tried to win the Premier title.

Barton elbowed Carlos Tevez, claiming it was retaliation (oh, that’s ok then…), kicked another City player to the ground as he walked off and even attempted a head butt on Balotelli as he was forced away from the pitch. If QPR manager Mark Hughes has any sense – and he is an articulate lad – he will release Barton in the next few days.

My advice to every other club is to stay well away from Barton – he attracts trouble and he’s bad for the reputation of the team he plays for. His career has been plagued with controversy, including a 77-day prison term, a four-month suspended sentence for assault on a former team-mate, a host of red cards and the title of the “dirtiest player in football” by pundits and fans.

Sometimes, you get the feeling that football gets the people it deserves. Fortunately, they are not all like Barton.