Joey Barton claims Marseille move blocked by QPR
Joey Barton (credit: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Joey Barton has claimed a permanent move to Marseille was blocked by QPR chairman Tony Fernandes during the summer.
The 31-year-old spent last season on loan with Marseille, making 25 league appearances for the French side.
It was expected that Barton would make the switch permanent in the summer, but he has instead been plying his trade in the Championship for QPR, and has been playing well for Harry Redknapp’s side.
But the former Manchester City midfielder claims an agreement was in place for him to sign for Marseille on a free transfer, only for Fernandes to demand a fee.
“When I came back this summer, the situation was very difficult,” he said.
“The club had been relegated and had to sell players.
“So I was confident. I said to myself, ‘Work in training, be quiet’, and in the end I will leave for Marseille and all will be well.
“We had an agreement with them and I also spoke with [manager] Harry Redknapp. He told me that he understood why I wanted to leave and did not prevent me.
“But then, the QPR chairman refused to let me go on a free. He asked Marseille to pay a transfer fee and it was not possible.”