Newcastle's Barton offered help by PFA

On Tuesday, Barton escaped a second spell in prison when he received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

Barton is currently serving a six-month jail term, which began on 20th May, after pleading guilty to charges of assault and affray over an incident at a McDonald's in Liverpool city centre on 27th December.

"It's one of those strange situations that when you talk to the lad in the cold light of day he's quiet, he's calm, he's considered," Taylor told talkSPORT.

"But he has those demons - there's no doubt they're there. He's been fortunate with this sentence, that it's been suspended.

"No doubt the judge, like us (the PFA), will be hoping that this term in prison will have made him come to terms with his problems - and I hope he's eradicated them for the sake of his life and his football career."

Taylor has also confirmed that the PFA has offered Barton support and has hinted that it may be time for the 25-year-old to leave Newcastle.

"We encouraged him to take use of our facility at Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic that is staffed by people who have been through and have had various addictive problems," added Taylor.

"With Joey Barton, it's been anger management and it's also problems with alcohol.

"I'm hoping that this spell in jail will help him come to terms with himself as a footballer and his life.

"It's a sad case. He's completely off the rails - and if it carries on like this, he'll continue to cause suffering to people.

"It might be that a totally new start at a new club is best. Like a new broom, sweep him clean - and hope that that can have the right psychological effect on him."

Have your say