JOEY Barton today told of his disappointment after being refused a visa for Newcastle’s pre-season tour to the United States.
The midfielder will travel to Holland with the club’s reserves while his team-mates play three high-profile games across the Atlantic.
Barton has been denied a work visa by the United States Embassy because of his criminal record.
The 28-year-old had visited the country on holiday this summer, and the club was hopeful he would be allowed entry.
However, the embassy has stricter criteria for work visas, and the club today revealed it had been informed he would not be able to travel for this month’s games against Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City and Columbus Crew.
However, Barton – who has been teetotal since committing an assault in his home city of Liverpool in December 2007 for which he was later jailed - is hopeful he will be able to play in the United States in future.
“Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past,” said Barton, who will make his seasonal debut in Friday night’s friendly away to Darlington.
“I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but at the same time, I don’t expect to be treated any differently or more favorably than anyone else in a similar situation.
“All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do.
“Again, apologies to all the supporters – as well as the fast growing legions of football supporters – in the United States who I was looking forward to meeting. I will see you in the future.”
Barton will travel to Holland to play three games with Peter Beardsley’s second string who will face Hollandia, FC Utrecht and Almere City.