The Fleetwood manager could be embroiled in more trouble after it emerged that he was possibly involved in a spat with an opposition boss
Former Newcastle, Man City and QPR midfielder Joey Barton has been no stranger to controversy, having been involved in several incidents of violent and aggressive behaviour throughout his career as a player.
The Merseyside native is infamous for disciplinary problems both on and off the pitch, having been convicted twice on charges of violence. He had been charged, fined, banned and imprisoned on numerous occasions across his decade-and-a-half as a professional footballer – but it looks like his past ways have followed him into management.
Following Barton’s is alleged violent behaviour during a League One game as manager of Fleetwood Town, Goal takes a look at his past history.
What are the latest allegations involving Joey Barton at Fleetwood Town?
South Yorkshire Police are currently investigating an alleged incident that took place following Barnsley’s 4-2 League One win over Fleetwood Town in April, marking a fresh round of controversy for the Huyton-born former footballer.
Barnsley forward Cauley Woodrow’s tweet implied that Fleetwood manager Barton, who has been at his post for less than a year, was involved in a tunnel altercation with Barnsley coach Daniel Stendel.
He said in a now-deleted post: “Firstly @ftfc to have a manager that can physically assault another manager in the tunnel is disgusting, causing our manager to have blood pouring from his face!!
“People like you don’t deserve a place in the game of football you are foul. Secondly fantastic win today @BarnsleyFC”
Barnsley said to the club’s official website: “The club can confirm there was an alleged incident in the tunnel area that took place following the conclusion of today’s match, which South Yorkshire Police are currently investigating.
“The club is assisting the police with its enquiries and, as a result, we are not in a position to make any further comment at this time.”
Sky Sports News showed footage following the end of the game that seemed to show Barton trying to leave the stadium in a car, before being stopped by police.
South Yorkshire Police stated: “We are aware of something that has taken place in the tunnel after the game and we are investigating.”
What controversies has Joey Barton been involved in?
The former England international has been involved in a long string of controversies.
Early on in his player career in 2004 in just his second season at Manchester City, he stubbed out a lit cigar in youth player Jamie Tandy’s eye during the club’s Christmas party. He was then fined six weeks’ wages, and then forced to pay four weeks’ salary – an estimated £60,000 – instantly, in addition to a further two weeks’ pay suspended for a year.
Tandy then sued Barton and won £65,000 in damages.
Just half a year later, the ex-midfielder was involved in a brawl with a 15-year-old Everton fan at Man City’s team hotel in Bangkok during their pre-season tour of Asia. He was fined eight weeks’ wages by City after being deemed guilty of gross misconduct.
In 2006, Barton dropped his shorts on the pitch in the direction of Everton fans after City’s 1-1 stalemate at Goodison Park, and in September 2007, was suspended by the club after his involvement in a training ground altercation with Ousmane Dabo. The assault left his team-mate needing hospital treatment. Barton was charged with the assault and received a four-month suspended jail sentence on July 1, 2008. He was also punished by the FA with a 12-match ban, as well as a further £25,000 fine.
In a separate incident, Barton was sentenced to prison time again after involvement in a squabble that took place in Liverpool City Centre in May 2008.
In 2009, he was sent off in a match against Liverpool for an ill-time challenge on Xabi Alonso. He was the subject of criticism from former Magpies manager Alan Shearer and was suspended by the club two days later.
The fun didn’t stop there. In November 2010, while playing for Newcastle, Barton punched Blackburn Rovers winger Morten Gamst Pederson during a 2-1 loss at St James’ Park. He accepted the FA charge against him and was banned for three games.
Then, in January 2012, Barton went on an online tirade against the FA, labelling it an ‘Orwellian organisation’ that was ‘in need of a drastic shake-up’, referencing George Orwell’s famed dystopian novel 1984.
“According to the FA, I am not allowed to give my opinion of possible results in case that is seen as insider information,” Barton stated on Twitter.
“These people are…[s]o out of touch with reality its untrue. What difference does my opinion of the outcome of a match, have on the result? None.
“The strange thing is they have probably sent me 30 letters since I started tweeting. That’s 30 pieces of paper wasted….stop sending please. I’ll prob get a letter about the last few tweets. Thats how ridiculous its become. Drastic shake up needed to move the game into 21st century.
“Hopefully they stop trying to be an Orwellian organisation and get to grips with the change that’s happening in the world around them.”
A mere few months later, while playing for Queens Park Rangers, Barton was sent off for elbowing Man City forward Carlos Tevez on the final day of the season. He also went on to knee Sergio Aguero, as well as attempting to headbutt captain Vincent Kompany before being ushered off the field by stewards. It led to him receiving a ban of 12 matches.
In the aftermath of the dismissal, he launched an aggressive tirade on Twitter directed against ex-manager and Match of the Day pundit Shearer, before shifting his attention on the programme’s presenter, Gary Lineker, saying: “back under your stone you odious little toad…”
In 2013 as a player on loan for Marseille, Barton was involved in another Twitter row with former Germany international Dietmar Hamann over team-mate Loic Remy’s decision to move to QPR over Newcastle. Barton called Hamann a ‘maggot’ and a ‘dog’ but later issued an apology.
A few months later, he was accused of homophobia after he called Paris Saint-Germain player Thiago Silva an “overweight ladyboy”.
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In February 2015, then a player for QPR, Barton received the ninth red card of his career in the 32nd minute of a match against Hull City after taking aim at Tom Huddlestone’s groin following a challenge by Darnell Furlong. Then-manager Chris Ramsey suggested that Barton, who would miss the club’s next three home matches as result, would return to anger management therapy following the incident.
In May 2015, QPR announced Barton would be released.
In 2016, while playing for Rangers, Barton was banished from the club’s training ground after his involvement with an alleged altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday – but not before accusing Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers of having a ‘mid-life crisis’ in a radio interview.