No charges for Barton as Police turn the other cheek
Joey Barton is still waiting to hear whether he will face a Football Association charge for dropping his shorts in the direction of Everton supporters.
Merseyside Police confirmed today they have terminated their inquiries into the Manchester City midfielder's actions at Goodison Park on Saturday, following consultation with the FA.
But the FA will not be rushed into making a decision on whether to punish Barton and are expected to finally issue a statement on the matter on Thursday morning.
In a statement Merseyside police said: 'Merseyside police has been in consultation with the FA in relation to the incident. The FA will now continue with their own investigation.'
And while that news will come as a relief to City boss Stuart Pearce, he will be irritated that the FA have ensured the issue remains in the headlines by extending their deliberations.
Earlier, Pearce had called on the authorities to put the issue in perspective, adding: 'Maybe some of the things that were said to that player are a more serious matter but we are not going to rake that up.'
Pearce added on City's official website: 'If things are serious and need to be addressed, fine. When I get home I see exactly on television what happened.
'I see one of my players give his shirt to a disabled fan. As he's walking off the pitch, he's being sledged about things I'd prefer not to go into - but we know what we're talking about.
'He kept a smile on his face throughout the whole incident, and he's done something that, at worst, is a little bit childish.
'At best, it's a bit of comedy that everyone should laugh off, but I still have to deal with it several days later.'