Joey Barton released on bail after nightclub fracas

QUEENS PARK RANGERS footballer Joey Barton is on his way to Portugal for a holiday today after being released from police custody last night following his arrest for affray.

• Barton says he has no plans to press charges

• QPR spokesman says incidents was sparked by offensive chanting

• Picture of shirtless Barton posted on Twitter

The midfielder, 29, was involved in trouble in the early hours of yesterday morning while on a night out with his girlfriend in Liverpool city centre.

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Two men aged 21 and from the Old Swan area of Liverpool were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence at around 5.30am at the scene of the incident, outside Garlands nightclub in the city.

But after they were held in custody and questioned, Barton and a 20-year-old man were also arrested yesterday afternoon.

Barton was released on bail last night by Merseyside Police pending further inquiries.

The three other men were bailed earlier yesterday.

Barton, who has become well known for his opinionated Twitter outbursts, last night indicated he was going on holiday today.

He tweeted: “Looking forward to Portugal now tomo. Bit of rest and lots of golf...”

Earlier yesterday the Liverpool-born midfielder confirmed the incident by tweeting: “I got sucker punched in the back of the head.

“Not injured as reported just a small bruise on rear of head/ear.

“I’ve had worse. Life goes on! Thanks for the concern. Have a good day people.”

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Later he tweeted: “Not planning on pressing charges as it’s not that serious. The police have also got better things to do with their time.

“Can I just say a public thanks to the police last night as they were and have been today brilliant.”

A picture of the incident, apparently showing a shirtless Barton being held back by police and a woman, also began to circulate on Twitter.

The player is under investigation by his club after he was given a 12-match ban by the Football Association.

He was banned by English football’s governing body after being sent off during QPR’s defeat at Manchester City on the final day of the Premier League season.

During the match, he elbowed one Manchester City player, kicked out at a second and attempted to headbutt a third.

In a statement, QPR spokesman Ian Taylor said: “Barton was on his way home from a night out with his girlfriend when two men sang offensive chants and then proceeded to hit the QPR midfielder.”