Joey Barton breaks his silence after Fleetwood Town exit – hints at next move
Joey Barton has released a statement following his Fleetwood Town departure.
Barton – former player for all of Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR and Burnley, had left his Fleetwood post with immediate effect yesterday.
It comes a week after a rumoured bust-up with Ched Evans, which resulted in the striker’s departure – he looks set for a move to Preston North End in the Championship.
Writing via the League Managers Association, Barton released the following:
“First of all I would like to thank the chairman Andy Pilley for the opportunity to manage Fleetwood Town. I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the club. I have learned so much over the past two and half years. There are some brilliant people at Fleetwood Town and I have enjoyed getting to know every one of them.”
Barton took over in June 2018 and would steer the club to a commendable 11th-place finish in his first season in charge, claiming a top-six spot last time round.
He oversaw 128 games in charge, winning 51 of them leaving him with a win percentage of 39.8%.
Barton then went on to write:
“I would like to thank the fans and say that I appreciate you sticking with me in my first management role. 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. I have nothing but good things to say about the people of Fleetwood and the surrounding community. I was welcomed from day one.
“To the players, thanks to each of you for bringing it every day. Nobody enjoyed playing against Fleetwood Town and ultimately that is down to you. Thanks for being patient with me on my coaching journey. I look forward to watching you as you continue to improve.”
Leaving a hint about is potential future in football management, Barton finished on:
“I will use this time out to keep getting better, until the next opportunity comes. All the best for 2021.”
He proved a contested appointment at first.
As a player he was never far from controversy and that tag had followed him into his managerial career – he’s still awaiting a court date for his alleged assaults of former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel and the whole saga with Evans doesn’t read well either.
But he remains an exciting, up and coming manager in the Football League – expect some club to take a punt on him sooner or later.
As for Fleetwood, they’re seemingly honing in on Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff – his side currently sit in 4th-place of the League Two table.
But Barton leaves Fleetwood 10th in League One, with a trip to Hull City in the EFL Trophy on the 12th of this month.