Barton told the Chronicle: "I look at his tenure and it can't have been enjoyable for him. I think he came into it thinking people around him were going to help and that didn't happen. They led him down a path, and perhaps was just a bit of fun for them, and they didn't realise what the commitment is financially, the emotion of the fans, and what it means.
"Then he tried to embrace it but by that time it was too late, and now he treats it like a business and it's obviously a very successful business. But if I was him coming into work every day, and you're not wanted then I would get rid of it. He's a wealthy man, he could sell it and enjoy the rest of his life. I wouldn't want to be coming into an environment where I'm not wanted.
"He's tried to say I'm going to help Rafa - well back him. That's the only way. Man City and Chelsea have only become big clubs in the last decade because they've spent money. I say to Ashley, you have a very, very good manager and loyal manager because a lot of people would have jumped ship by now having to deal with what he is having to deal with. But he's there, why not in the new year give everyone a new start? But only he can decide that and all we can do as fans is get behind Rafa, the players and support them until something changes. Unfortunately we don't hold the cards, we're not the owners because if we were it would be ran a lot different and a lot better."