QPR manager Mark Hughes met with chief executive Philip Beard on Tuesday to discuss the club’s response to skipper Joey Barton’s conduct during Sunday’s game against Manchester City.
Barton, who was sent off for lashing out at Carlos Tevez and then kicked Sergio Aguero before appearing to aim a headbutt at Vincent Kompany, faces a lengthy ban.
He has been hit by the Football Association with two charges of violent conduct and is expected to be suspended for at least 10 matches.
Even before the outburst at the Etihad Stadium, Hughes had planned to consider Barton’s future this summer, with the midfielder unlikely to remain captain or a first-team regular next season.
Now a number of options are being mooted, including transfer-listing or even dismissing Barton.
The controversial 29-year-old lacks support among his team-mates, most of whom would back any move to strongly discipline or even boot him out of the club altogether.
His reputation and the fact he has three years of a lucrative contract left to run would inevitably make it difficult to offload Barton to another club.
Paying up his contract would be expensive for Rangers but affordable, and is also an option.
See also: Parker: Ditch Joey as captain (20 January)