Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has hit back at Joey Barton, claiming the club's legal team are looking into the Queens Park Rangers midfielder's recent comments.

29111 - Llambias tells Barton to button his lip

Barton hit out at former club Newcastle on Tuesday, claiming he was forced out by Llambias and club owner Mike Ashley following a wrangle over a bonus structure.

Barton, now QPR captain, told Rangers podcast Open All R's: "They thought we were (Ashley's company) Sports Direct and we should do what the subordinates at Sports Direct do."

Llambias has taken issue with Barton, claiming his comments are disrespectful to Sports Direct employees.

The Newcastle managing director said: "In a week when one of Newcastle United's most beloved footballers passed away, it is disappointing that once again Joey Barton makes the headlines.

"It is also unfortunate that Joey chose to draw such a disparaging comparison between himself and the employees of Sports Direct, who through hard work and dedication are the recipients of the most generous bonus scheme in the UK.

"It may not be a lot of money to Joey, but over 2,000 Sports Direct employees earning £20,000 will receive shares worth over £44,000 over the next two years.

"However, in this week of all weeks, we really do not wish to engage in a public war of words with Joey Barton.

"Our legal advisors are dealing with the matter now and we would encourage Joey to concentrate on his football at Queens Park Rangers."