By Sami Mokbell

Joey Barton is strongly considering using his personal lawyer Mel Stein when he fights a possible 12-match ban on Friday.

Barton's future on the line as he calls personal lawyer for Etihad red rage defence

The Queens Park Rangers captain has until midday on Wednesday to respond to two charges of violent conduct after his red card at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday – and is expected to plead guilty.

But Barton is also expected to request a personal hearing when an FA panel decide the length of his suspension. He is set to use Stein to fight his case for a lesser ban, rather than QPR’s legal team.
QPR manager Mark Hughes, technical director Mike Rigg, joint owners Amit Bhatia and Tony Fernandes and chief executive Phillip Beard have met to discuss Barton’s future.

QPR will look to ditch Barton this summer but his wages of  £70,000 a week will make it difficult to find a buyer.

Rangers could pay up the midfielder’s contract to pave the way for his exit but would have to agree a severance package as they are obliged to pay the midfielder £11million in wages over the next three years.

PFA chief Gordon Taylor said: ‘He is his own worst enemy and has been upsetting people with good reputations.

‘We try to deal with Joey Barton and it is not getting any easier.

‘I just feel sometimes like it is pushing a boulder up a hill, it slips back and you decide whether to go again.

‘It has certainly been a backward step for him and his future in the game.

‘There are people that seem to be improving and then slip back, it is a human condition. No one is perfect but you only have one career.’
Barton has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the authorities down the years.

He stubbed a lit cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy while at City in 2004, left Ousmane Dabo needing hospital treatment after a training ground fight in 2007 and was jailed for six months for assault the following year.

Taylor, who has offered Barton advice through the PFA before, fears for the 29-year-old’s future, and believes more counselling may be the only way for him to address his problems.

‘There has been quite a bit of counselling for him in the past which no doubt needs to be there in the future as well,’ said Taylor, who was speaking at the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards in London.

‘People ask us about his future but, regarding football, he is the biggest influence over it.

‘He has spoken at different meetings we’ve had and speaks very well at times and for the most part is very convincing.

‘At times, call it red mist or whatever, something there happens that triggers off problems.

‘It’s back to square one again and that’s where we and here we go again to start to try and rebuild.

‘I have not been happy with some of the things that have been said by him or about him.’