QPR skipper Joey Barton says Chris Hughton was sacked by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley because of player power.
He says senior members of the squad led a revolt against the billionaire's plans to impose a new bonus scheme when Newcastle were promoted back to the Premier League. When the squad refused to buckle, Hughton took the blame.
Barton told QPR podcast 'Open all R's':
We were only club in Premier League history not to sign a bonus sheet. It never happened. It's unprecedented. We refused because they tried to railroad us into it.
"It fundamentally cost Chris Hughton his job as he couldn't get us to sign so Mike Ashley said he had no control over the players and that was his undoing.
"Chris knew he was on borrowed time from then - yet this was a guy who kept club together when we went down, had no budget, inherited a playing squad fragmented and disjointed and handled himself with nothing but dignity. He did a fantastic job swimming against the tide at boardroom level and got the club back into the Premier League.
"We felt aggrieved by Chris' exit, at the same time we refused to sign the bonus sheet. They decided we were the paid workforce and thought we were sports direct and do what subordinates there do.
"The bigger name players advised the players not to sign and that filtered back to the boardroom. It's no coincidence that I got sold, or given away, Carroll and Nolan were sold and Harper is being forced to go on loan and his position is made untenable and Alan Smith has been told to train with the reserves for the rest of his days.
"It's all about power and control. They are running the club and it's going well for them, but that's more to the testament to the players, fans and the manager. I just wouldn't like to work for those two cretins.