QPR skipper Barton could face nine-game ban after sending-off against Manchester City

The skipper may spend much of the start of next season on the sidelines following his red card at the Etihad after elbowing Carlos Tevez and kicking out at Sergio Aguero

QPR captain Joey Barton could face a potential nine-game ban at the start of next season following his sending off against former club Manchester City on Sunday.

The R’s midfielder received his marching orders from referee Mike Dean after elbowing Carlos Tevez in the second half of the Blues’ title-clinching 3-2 victory over Mark Hughes’ side.

Barton’s reaction to the red card could land him more than the usual three-game ban, as he kicked striker Sergio Aguero and tried to head-butt defender Vincent Kompany as he left the pitch.

The 29-year-old had to be escorted from the field by QPR coach Kevin Hitchcock and friend and former team-mate Micah Richards but that did not stop another near altercation with Mario Balotelli, however the two were separated before any trouble could commence.

Barton is expected to be handed a four-game ban after collecting his second red card of the season, his first after being sent off against Norwich for butting Bradley Johnson on 2 January.

But, if the Football Association deem his kick at Aguero to be violent conduct, he will be handed a further three-game ban and an additional two matches after what would be his third red card of the season.

Barton took to his Twitter page last night to apologise to his team-mates and supporters and also to defend his actions.

He said: "Can do nothing but apologise to the players and the fans. Still don't think it's a sending off. Tried to take 1 of their players with me."

He added: "Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f***, we are safe..........and that is all that matters."