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.
Barton has said he "strenuously denies" the allegation.