Newcastle's Joey Barton and Nile Ranger denied US visa

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Joey Barton
Image caption,
Joey Barton was jailed for assault in 2008

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has been left out of the team's pre-season tour of America after the US Embassy refused to grant him a visa.

In 2008 he was jailed after admitting assault in Liverpool city centre.

In the same year he was given a suspended sentence for an assault on a team-mate at Manchester City.

Newcastle United also confirmed that striker Nile Ranger, who has a conviction for robbery, had also been refused a visa.

Barton, 28, said that he regretted not being able to go, but did not expect to be treated more favourably than anyone in a similar situation.

Newcastle are due to depart for the US on Sunday, with matches scheduled against Sporting Kansas, Orlando City and Columbus Crew.

Barton will travel to Holland with the club's reserve team, which will play Hollandia, FC Utrecht and Almere City.

The midfielder said: "Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past.

"I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but at the same time, I don't expect to be treated any differently or more favourably than anyone else in a similar situation.

"All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do."

He added: "Again, apologies to all the NUFC supporters, as well as the fast-growing legions of football supporters, in the United States who I was looking forward to meeting.

"I will see you in the future."

He later commented on his Twitter page: "Visa story is correct, they told me am not allowed in until I have 5yrs without any trouble. 3yrs down, 2yrs to go."

Another post read: "Totally hypocrisy considering what they get up to, but rules are rules."

A third post read: "I can't be bothered dwelling on negatives, this is my last post about the visa situation."

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