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OFF THE POST: Christmas Party Perils
December 27th, 2004 4:04PM



Since Danish World Cup veteran Stig Tofting was kicked off of his Danish First Division club AGF Aarhus for fighting at the team's Christmas party, bad behavior at yuletide bashes have come to England.

Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton, 22, was fined six weeks wages, about $170,000, for poking teammate Jamie Tandy in the eye with a lit cigar during his club's Christmas party. Tandy, a 20-year-old trainee who is expected to make a full recovery from his eye injury, had attempted to light Barton's fancy party costume on fire and was fined two weeks wages and suspended for a year.

The Manchester Evening News reported that two scuffles broke out at the Manchester United Christmas party while West Brom Albion's Swiss defender Bernt Haas, suited up in a Robin Hood costume, was taken to the hospital following his club's party reportedly because of severe intoxication.

Newcastle coach Graeme Souness, apparently aware of the perils of yuletide parties, canceled his club's annual Christmas bash, although The Ritz of London issued a complaint with the club about the behavior of forward Craig Bellamy at an unofficial gathering.

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