Off-the-pitch yellow and red cards

 Professional footballers aren’t exactly saints. We see all kinds of controversy almost weekly but mostly on or around the pitch. Sometimes they can’t contain themselves and get in trouble with the law. Here’s an insight of players receiving what we’ll call “Off-the-pitch yellow and red cards.”

Let’s start with the always angry Joey Barton.

In December 2004, while playing for Manchester City, Joey decided to stub a lit cigar in his young teammate, Jamie Tandy’s eye during the club’s Christmas party. After Barton was fined and suspended by the club, Tandy sued him and won £65,000 in damages.

In May of 2005, Barton hit a 35-year-old pedestrian with his car at 2 a.m in the Liverpool city centre. (Gotta wonder how many pints he’d killed by that point, yeah?)

That same year, Joey was fined eight weeks’ wages by City and sent to anger management after being found guilty of “gross misconduct”. The incident? A fight with a 15-year-old Everton fan outside the club’s hotel in Bangkok. The Evertonian allegedly taunted Barton with words and kicked him in the shin. (Don’t go punching above your weight, kid.)

2nd of September, 2006, “Brawlin’ Barton” decided to drop his shorts in the direction of the Everton fans following their 1-all draw with City. Mersyside Police investigate.

March of 2007, Barton was arrested “on suspicion of assault and criminal damage in an incident involving a taxi driver.” (Some say he just went “apeshit” on the driver) and bailed out until May.

May of 2007, Out-on-bail-Barton was suspended for the rest of the season for, I’m going to put it lightly, beating the ever-loving shit out of teammate Ousane Dabo on City’s training ground. Dabo was sent to the emergency room for treatment after the beat-down.

Fast-forward to October and our anti-hero appears in Trafford magistrates court to answer to the charge of assault on Dabo. He said he would not plead not guilty to the trial that was scheduled for June 2008.

December of the same year, Mr. Hothead was arrested in Liverpool city centre (sound familiar?) and charged with common assault and affray. Maybe Joey should just avoid late night outings in Liverpool.

In May of 2008 Barton admitted to the assault and affray charge and was jailed for six months.

And of course most recently, there was this:

Apparently, there’s no keeping a lid on this guy. Time will tell where it goes from here.

Known for his massive throw-ins, viscous tackles and now, acting, we move on to the always bad-ass Vinnie Jones. 

Vinnie was busted for a bar brawl here in the states in 2008. (Wiley’s Bar in Sioux Falls, North Dakota to be exact) The two men on the other end of the slug-fest claimed that Jones was “drunk and looking for a fight”. The first person that the Snatch actor came after glassed him (hit him in the face with his beer bottle) and left him needing 48 stitches. After that, the ex Wimbledon footballer attacked his friend in the back of the bar next to the bathrooms.

It’s not the first time Vinnie’s been in trouble with the law. In 1998 he was found guilty of assaulting a neighbor and causing criminal damage which led to 100 hours of community service.

In 2003 he was charged £500 for assault and threatening to kill a passenger aboard a plane to Tokyo from London. Luckily it wasn’t an American flight or he’d be in Guantanamo Bay and labeled a “terrorist”

And now the Mop-Top from Gateshead: Andy Carroll

If you’ve heard about Andy’s life away from the pitch, you’ve heard about his hard drinking and alcohol-induced brawls.

On September 14th, 2008, Carroll was arrested for assaulting a woman in a Newcastle bar and accepted a “police caution”.

December 7th, 2009, Ol’ Andy was arrested for assault in a Newcastle club where he allegedly smashed a glass in a man’s face. He pleaded guilty to common assault and paid a £1,000 fine and also £2,500 compensation.

In March of 2010 Mop-Top got into a fight with fellow teammate Steven Taylor that left Andy’s hand broken and Taylor’s jaw broken. No charges were filed on either side.

October 18th 2010, the former Newcastle forward was charged for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and was ordered to reside at fellow teammate Kevin Nolan’s residence (because he listed a hotel for his) until the court case in January. Carroll claimed self defense. The case was dropped due to lack of evidence. Isn’t love grand?

Finally, the self obsessed goal keeper from Colombia, Rene Higuita.

If the name doesn’t work your memory than this will:

Props all around, Rene.

Higuita only pops up on criminal records once (that I’m aware of) but it’s a big one.

Rene was imprisoned in 1993 for playing middle-man for the infamous cartel leaders Carlos Molina and Pablo Escobar. He was largely responsible for securing the release of Molina’s daughter by delivering the ransom money. He was paid $64,000 for his contribution which broke the Colombian law about profiting from a kidnapping. (Though I think that kinda goes without saying.) He made a comment on the ordeal, saying “I’m a footballer, I didn’t know anything about kidnapping laws.” (Perhaps it doesn’t go without saying.) There’s speculations that Higuita also made a personal visit to Escobar while the drug lord was in prison. It has been claimed that he was imprisoned because of the visit more-so than the kidnapping.

And now it’s time for the weekly Warren Barton Award.

This award is given to the biggest wanker of the past week. The title “Wanker of The Week is taken so we chose to go with the Warren Barton award because of this:

So with that said this week’s award goes to none other than Warren Barton himself! Congrats, Warren.


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