Derek Llambias, Managing Director, Newcastle United issued a statement yesterday:
In a week when one of Newcastle United's most beloved footballers passed away, it is disappointing that once again Joey Barton makes the headlines.
It is also unfortunate that Joey chose to draw such a disparaging comparison between himself and the employees of Sports Direct, who through hard work and dedication are the recipients of one of the most generous bonus schemes in UK retailing. It may not be a lot of money to Joey, but over 2,000 Sports Direct employees earning £20,000 will receive shares worth over £44,000 over the next two years.
However, in this week of all weeks, we really do not wish to engage in a public war of words with Joey Barton. Our legal advisors are dealing with the matter now and we would encourage Joey to concentrate on his football at Queens Park Rangers.
Our thoughts and attentions this week remain firmly with the family and friends of Gary Speed.