Former Rangers player Joey Barton has left his role as Fleetwood Town manager, with subsequent comments from chairman Andy Pilley hinting he was sacked [Fleetwoodtownfc.com].
Barton is a controversial figure whose 2016 stint at Ibrox lasted only a few months.
He started all of the Gers’ opening five 2016/17 Premiership fixtures but was suspended by the club as a result of a training ground altercation with Andy Halliday following a 5-1 defeat to Celtic and his contract was terminated with immediate effect soon after.
When a second spell at Burnley was cut short by a betting-related FA ban, Barton retired and entered management, taking over at Fleetwood once his suspension was completed in June 2018.
He guided the Lancashire club to 11th and 6th place finishes in his first two seasons and they are currently 10th in the third tier, drawing their most recent game 1-1 away at Crewe Alexandra.
Those are strong returns for a club with a relatively small budget, so it was a shock when his departure was announced on Monday afternoon.
Club statement: Joey Barton
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 4, 2021
The brief initial statement didn’t give much away, but follow-up comments made by Town chairman Pilley suggest that Barton was sacked.
“I’d like to put on record my thanks to Joey Barton for the job he’s done during his time at Fleetwood Town,” he said [Fleetwoodtownfc.com]. “Joey has been a pleasure to have at the club and I’m sure he will go onto have a hugely successful career.”
“Today’s decision was a tough one for me to make, but I felt now was the right time for the club to go in a different direction.”
Barton is a regular Twitter user but at the time of writing, he had not yet made any comment on his exit.
In other news, a divisive attacker who played alongside Barton at Ibrox has reportedly entered talks with a Premier League club ahead of a potential shock move.