|Barton's agent claims he has been 'hounded' by the press [GALLO/GETTY]
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has been suspended for six matches by the English Premier League's Football Association for his training ground assault on former team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
The 26-year-old Barton could be suspended for a further six matches if he is found guilty of a similar offence or is sent off for violent conduct before the end of next season.
Barton, who was also fined $44,000 and has 14 days to appeal the punishment imposed by a FA disciplinary panel.
Barton has already been sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, over the 2007 assault on Dabo while they were at Manchester City.
The sentence was imposed in July while Barton was serving a 74-day jail term for an alcohol-fueled attack on two men last December.
Dabo described himself as looking like the “Elephant Man” after being hospitalized with heavy swelling around his eyes after the attack.
"(The panel) had to take into consideration the sanctions imposed by the courts and the pro-active support Mr. Barton has received from Newcastle United FC and other professional bodies," chairman Maurice Armstrong said in a statement.
"The commission members wanted to punish the offence appropriately but give Mr. Barton an opportunity to ensure his professional conduct does not falter again, and ensure he is fully aware of the consequences should he make another serious error of judgment."
Barton won't be eligible for the Magpies again until the Premier League match at fierce northeast rival Sunderland on 25 October.
Barton, who has played once for England, was suspended by Man City after the incident and never played for the club again, joining Newcastle in June 2007.
Dabo, a French defender, returned to Lazio from City in January.