Barton joined Marseille in a loan deal from Queens Park Rangers last week but club president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that Lyon decided that a move for the 30-year-old was too much of a risk given his disciplinary record.
Aulas told Canal Plus: "We had five minutes of consultations about Barton, but we agreed we could not take the risk.
"We have certain guidelines within the club, agreed with our sponsors and partners. We could not take him."
Barton recently insisted that he is targeting silverware during his stay in France.