It was pretty much accepted that Joey Barton was the architect of his own downfall at Fleetwood Town.

The story doing the rounds as to why his 947-day tenure came to an end with the Cod Army was a pretty straightforward one.

It involved Ched Evans being effectively sacked by Barton after the combative boss took exception at Evans and his breaches of club discipline policy.

However, an article by The Athletic’s Greg O’Keefe coutermands this.

Joey Barton – the old reasons given for his sacking

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Barton had said that numerous breaches of the club’s discipline policy were behind him telling Evans that he had no future at the north-west coast club.

However, sources elsewhere stated that this was tenuous at the least and that a fit of pique by Barton at Evans mocking him and his coaching staff during a ‘punishment roast’ was behind the striker’s sacking .

The above is covered here on The72 in more detail but even that was added to recently. Alan Nixon, writing for The Sun, gave some fresh details that expanded on the reasoning behind Barton’s sudden departure from Highbury.

Nixon wrote that Fleetwood got rid of Barton after the club chairman, Andy Pilley, “spent a few days reviewing the background of his fall out with striker Ched Evans.” In the end, this was said to be the final episode leading to Fleetwood asking Barton to walk.

New insight into Barton’s sacking

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All of that is out there, has been out there for a while and does form a partial back story about what was going on at Fleetwood Town.

The question is though: is this why Barton had to go? Not according to The Athletic’s O’Keefe it isn’t.

O’Keefe writes that the decision to axe Evans “was not the pivotal factor in his [Barton’s] sacking” but it was more to do with circumstances of his own.

What he writes is that it was Barton’s reaction to being offered a new deal b chairman Pilley that “caused consternation behind-the-scenes” at Highbury.

Barton did not turn down the new contract, he merely said he’d consider it just before his current one was due to expire.

Fears that players might be reluctant to commit themselves, in light of Barton’s reluctance, are thought to have been a driving for behind Barton’s departure.

Is Joey Barton too toxic at the moment to be considered for a job in the EFL?


Oozes toxicity.


He can do a job.