Western Morning News

Manager Barton leaves League One Fleetwood

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JOEY Barton has left his role as Fleetwood’s manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.

Former Manchester City, Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Barton, 38, had been in charge at Highbury Stadium since April 2018.

A brief statement on the club’s official website said: “Fleetwood Town can confirm manager Joey Barton has left the club with immediate effect.

“We would like to thank Joey for his work during his time at Highbury Stadium and wish him success in the future.”

Barton guided Fleetwood to the League One play-offs last season but they lost 6-3 on aggregate to Wycombe in the semi-finals.

The Cod Army are currently 10th in the table, three points off the top six, after three successive draws. They have won only one of their last seven.

Fleetwood announced Barton as successor to John Sheridan just a day after he had completed an 18-month ban for breaking Football Associatio­n rules on betting.

Barton had been a player at QPR at the time of his ban and confirmed he had hung up his boots after taking on his first managerial job.

His playing and managerial careers have been dogged by controvers­y and disciplina­ry problems.

He was handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting assaulting former Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo during a training-ground incident in 2007.

Barton spent 74 days in prison for common assault and affray in Liverpool city centre in 2008 and was charged with violent conduct by the FA on three other occasions.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasionin­g actual bodily harm after an incident with former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel following a match in April 2019 and his trial last summer was postponed until June 2021 due to the coronaviru­s pandemic.

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