I am no stranger to starting rants targeted at the FA, for what I find to be increasingly unacceptable behaviour and rulings. They are bloody clueless and seem to delight on really digging the knife in to our club and players.

They have been guilty countless times of punishing one player a certain way, yet when a United player is concerned, they up the ante.

I started to think about this when I read about the latest goings on with Joey Barton. Whilst he’s not best loved, I imagined if a United player had been guilty of the things Barton has, and what a commotion would have been made of it. Can you imagine if Wayne Rooney had gone around beating the crap out of people in the street and his team mate? Stubbing out cigars in youngsters faces and spending time in jail? The paper and FA would not have been able to get enough of it.

Their blatant double standards have been exhibited today in their dealings with Joey Barton.

Joey Barton

Crime: Beating the crap out of his team mate on the training ground. Causing injuries to Dabo’s his eye, nose and lip, with the player being taken to hospital for treatment.

Punishment: Minimum six-match ban. £25,000 fine.

Rio Ferdinand

Crime: Leaving training before taking a drug’s test. Offered to take the drug’s test later that day, but his plea was declined. An independent panel tested him the following day, the results came back as clear, but the FA would not consider this as evidence.

Punishment: 8 month ban. £50,000 fine.

Whilst the papers are reporting Barton has been handed a 12 match ban, it is in fact just 6, with the other 6 suspended until the following season. If he is up in front of the FA panel between now and then, he will have to serve those additional matches. If not, it will remain as a 6 match ban.

To put that in to perspective, Newcastle’s next six matches will see us to October 29th. Essentially, it is a 45 day ban.

In contrast, Rio Ferdinand missed the 16 remaining Premiership games for United, after his last game on January 17th, all of the Euro 2004, and the first 5 games of the following season.

How can you possibly argue that missing a drug’s test means you deserve to miss over FOUR TIMES as many matches as someone who beats the crap out of a team mate? How does that make any sense?

The fact is, it doesn’t make any sense, other than Barton plays for Newcastle United and Rio plays for Manchester United. The FA are a complete joke.