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5 things you may not know about Joey Barton

The soon-to-be Fleetwood manager has had a colourful and controversial career.

Joey Barton has been appointed manager of League One Fleetwood and will take up his position on June 2, once a Football Association ban for breaching betting rules expires.

Here Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the former midfielder, who played for Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR, Marseille, Rangers and Burnley.

Inauspicious start

Joey Barton began his career at Manchester City

After youth spells with Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City, Barton made his breakthrough with City. Kevin Keegan had hoped to give him his debut as a substitute against Middlesbrough in November 2002, but the then 18-year-old lost his shirt and could not play as rules dictated he needed to wear his registered number. Keegan said on “Joey couldn’t find his shirt so I couldn’t put him on. Apparently he put it down at half-time, went to the dressing room with a vest on and when he came back he couldn’t find it.”

On and off-field misdemeanours

Joey Barton, centre, received a lengthy ban for his reaction to his dismissal playing for QPR at Manchester City

His list is plentiful and include: sparking a 10-man brawl in a July 2004 pre-season friendly at Doncaster; three Football Association charges for violent conduct – one for attacking three City players on the final day of the 2011-12 season when he was at QPR, resulting in a 12-match ban. During that ban he trained with Fleetwood and played 45 minutes in a pre-season friendly. More unsavoury incidents happened on the field – numerous bad tackles and red cards (six in 269 Premier League games) – and off the field. City considered sacking Barton for stubbing out a lit cigar in youth player Jamie Tandy’s eye in December 2004; and, he had to be restrained by a team-mate for attacking a teenage Everton fan on a pre-season tour to Thailand.

Criminal behaviour

Joey Barton served a prison term in Strangeways

Twice Barton has been convicted for charges of violence. He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in May 2008 for common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool city centre. He served 74 days of his prison term at Manchester’s Strangeways. He was given a four-month suspended sentence in July 2008 after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground dispute in May 2007. He was given a six-match suspension by the FA, with a further six suspended. He has sought to address his behavioural issues. Barton has previously received treatment for alcohol addiction at the Sporting Chance Clinic and has been praised in some quarters for his charity work.

Betting Barton

Joey Barton received a lengthy ban for placing more than 1000 bets on matches

Barton grew a moustache in a bet with team-mates and was able to shave it off once Newcastle won a Premier League game, against Aston Villa, in August 2010. “The ’tache has gone now that we’ve won,” he said. More serious betting charges followed. In October 2016, he was accused of placing 44 bets on matches by the Scottish Football Association and received a one-match ban during a brief, and curtailed, spell at Rangers. In April 2017 he was found to have placed 1,260 bets on matches over 10 years. The suspension was reduced by five months on appeal.


Joey Barton made one substitute appearance for England, in a friendly with Spain

One England cap, for a 79th-minute substitute appearance in a February 2007 friendly against Spain, replacing Frank Lampard. Promotion from the Championship as winners with Newcastle (2009-10) and Burnley (2015-16) and through the play-offs with QPR (2013-14). His LinkedIn page shows he did a one-year philosophy course at Roehampton University from 2014-15 and his Twitter page shows his preference for kaizen, which means “change for better” or continuous self-improvement. He has 3.29 million Twitter followers; Fleetwood have fewer than 70,000. Barton has appeared on BBC current affairs programmes Newsnight and Question Time.

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