Newcastle star Joey Barton appeared in court on Tuesday charged with assault following his alleged attack on former team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
Barton appeared for a brief hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester to set a trial date where he will face charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He is accused of attacking then team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground bust-up on May 1 this year while both were playing for Manchester City.
Richard Varden, prosecuting, said the earliest date a trial could be held was June 30 next year.
He added: "I realise it seems a long way away although it's a straightforward allegation, there is an additional factor in that the defendant is a Premiership footballer."
Mr Varden said the witnesses in the case would be other footballers. Judge Leslie Hull released Barton on unconditional bail to appear for trial next year.
Liverpool-born Barton, 25, who has been capped by England, was suspended by Manchester City after the incident and sold to Newcastle in a £5.8million deal over the summer.
Barton has said he "strenuously denies" the allegation.