Barton sticks the boot into Gunners
Joey Barton reckons there are serious problems at Arsenal after Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood denied ever having an interest in signing the controversial midfielder.
Barton, who was linked with a move to the Gunners before joining QPR on a free transfer from Newcastle in the summer, says that Hill-Wood’s claims of a lack of interest in signing Barton hints at major problems in communication between the board and the coaching staff in North London.
Barton, who has become something of a voice of the people in recent times and has spoken about subjects as wide ranging as philosophy and fine art, was damning in his criticism of how the club is run and his comments may strike a tune with disgruntled Gooners.
"Peter Hill-Wood said they never had any serious interest in me," Barton said in the Sunday Mirror.
"I just don't understand. The dialogue between him and his coaching staff has broken down so severely that he doesn't know what's going on at his football club.
"I don't know (why Hill-Wood said that). Fair enough if I was claiming to sign for Real Madrid or Barcelona or Manchester City or Manchester United, but I don't think it's that big of a shout to say Arsenal were after me because it's definitely a club in - what shall I say? - transition.
Barton also had a swipe about the way Arsenal manage their finances, suggesting that they shouldn’t be in the position they are in as one of the wealthiest clubs in the league.
"Financially, they have put themselves in a great position but I don't know what's happening there,” he added.
“I don't understand. You look at Arsenal and you think, 'Well, they obviously have an abundance of money'.
"Their stadium is almost paid for. I would say, financially, they are the most well-run club in the league, barring Manchester City."
On the pitch, Arsene Wenger’s side have struggled since the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and the transformation in their fortunes has not been lost on Barton, who was, it’s fair to say, not exactly impressed by their recent victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League.
"I watched them the other day," he said.
“It's a very different side from that great team they had with Petit and Vieira. If I was an Arsenal fan... well.
"It's nothing to do with me because it's not my football club but, even so, I like to see those great English sides do well. I remember watching the Champions League and Arsenal against Olympiakos at home was a shoo-in, four or five-nil win for Arsenal, but they made hard work of it. But this is the game we're in."