Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has urged the Magpies not to sack midfielder Joey Barton.
The 25-year-old is serving a six-month jail sentence for assault and affray and was also handed a suspended prison term last week for assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
Barton is due to have talks with Toon officials about his future and Allardyce, who signed the Liverpudlian from City last summer before leaving St James' Park in January, fears for the player if his contract is cancelled.
Allardyce told the News of the World: 'If Newcastle sack Joey it will be another punishment and defeat the objective of him trying to put things right and become a better person.
'It could also be dangerous to take football away from him. He is a complete football man. His life revolves around it.
'If Newcastle keep Joey, this is the last chance for him. He is fighting for his future because I don't think anyone will take him if he steps out of line again.
'Joey has had help in the past but he needs to do things for himself now. If this doesn't make him want to get things right, nothing will.'