There can be no coming back from this.
Joey Barton's 12-match ban, the latest in a long line of punishments from both the Football Association and the criminal courts, is the final whistle.
His career in England should end here.
The idea of banning him from football entirely, as some have suggested, is flawed on a number of levels.
A thug he may be, but the FA would risk laying down a dangerous precedent if it were to prematurely and punitively end his career.
What would happen the next time a player retaliated (remember that Carlos Tevez started the incident by striking Barton off the ball) and left the field in a fury?
How many offences earn this lifetime ban?
Is it right to use past crimes, or actual crimes committed away from football, retrospectively for such an emphatic punishment?
Surely he's already served his time for those offences?
If you're adamant that Barton should be banned forever, stop and think about Wayne Rooney.
He'll miss the first two games of Euro 2012 next month for kicking a Macedonian player off the ball.
He was sent off in the 2006 World Cup for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho off the ball.
He has a history of dissent and abusive language.
How long before you have to ban him the next time he kicks someone?
Or the time after that?
No, the FA has dealt out its retribution and that's where the sanctions should end.
Further punishment is likely to be handed out by his club anyway.
Insiders report that Queens Park Rangers' legal team have been scrutinising Barton's lucrative contract to see if his actions constitute gross misconduct.
Given that he is paid approximately £80,000 ($160,000) per week, the club will have to shell out around £1.6 million on his wages between now and the next time he'll be eligible to play.
If they can find a way to sack him, rest assured that they will.
The only danger for the club is that Barton will be snapped up instantly by one of their rivals.
Barton, remember, is an excellent footballer. He had a poor season at Loftus Road, but so did most of the squad.
The club were wracked by internal conflict, shaken by a boardroom takeover and then a managerial change.
The season before that, he was one of the most consistent midfielders in the country and would have been on the PFA shortlist if he wasn't so wildly unpopular in the game.
There would be no shortage of takers, even with his reputation.
Stoke City, for example, seem a thoroughly logical candidate.
Don't think that his past will count against him.
This week, Swindon Town announced that they will be giving a trial to Luke McCormick, due to be released early from prison next month.
McCormick, 28, was twice past the drink driving limit when he smashed his speeding Range Rover into a family car, killing two young boys and crippling their father.
If that doesn't end your football career, then it's highly unlikely that Barton's tantrum will get in the way of future earnings.
Barton would do well to use this summer to reassess the way his career, and indeed his life, is progressing.
He has alienated almost everyone in football and the press will stalk him until he retires, scrambling for stories in a quite understandable fashion.
There have been too many apologies, too many broken promises.
No-one will trust him ever again.
Barton is intelligent. Not perhaps as intelligent as he believes himself to be, but he has the curious mind of an 18-year-old student who has just read his first book on American foreign policy and feels strangely angry.
He is intelligent enough at least to know which way the wind is blowing.
He would be better off taking himself and his young family abroad and using the time out of the spotlight to make the most of his talents before they dwindle.
At 29, he does not have much time left in the game.
It would suit him, QPR, the FA and the majority of fans in England, if he instructed his agent to find him a club in Europe.
His time in England is over.
This article was first published in The New Paper.