After the surprise news Joey Barton would no longer be in charge at League One club Fleetwood Town, the ex-Newcastle United star has issued a five-paragraph statement via the League Manager’s Association.
In it, Barton thanks the chairman, coaching staff, fans and wider Fleetwood community, admitting: “I am not naive enough to think I always got it right, but my only intention during my tenure was to drive this football club forward.”
“It has been some journey”, admits Barton who took over the club in June 2018 upon the expiry of an 18-month ban for football betting charges.
He led Fleetwood to the League One playoffs last season and leaves the club in 10 th position, level on points with Sunderland one place below.
Following an impressive 5-1 win at home to Plymouth on November 21, Barton was believed to have been offered a contract extension by club Chairman Andy Pilley but indicated he would prefer to enter discussions towards the expiry of his current deal at the end of the season.
A fallout with the club’s high-profile striker Ched Evans seems to have also contributed to Monday’s amicable parting of ways.
Recent fallout over the long-running takeover saga at Newcastle United hasn't just been the talk of Tyneside - it was the talk of the footballing world.
Now, Steve Bruce must recollect his team and push forward without the change of ownership and new backing.
However, the twists and turns aren't over, with current owner Mike Ashley 'considering all options' after the Premier League rejected the £300m takeover.
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“I would like to thank the chairman Andy Pilley for the opportunity to manage Fleetwood Town,” acknowledged Barton in his LMA statement, before stating “I am just a football manager who has lost his job, there are plenty of people who were much better than me at theirs that have lost them over the past 12 months.”
He concludes by saying he plans to “use this time to keep getting better, until the next opportunity comes.”
Barton’s coaching staff, Clint Hill and Andy Mangan have also left with Under 18-coach Simon Wiles taking temporary charge of the team’s trip to Hull in the EFL Trophy on January 12.