Taking reins at Fleetwood Town
Barton back as manager after gambling ban
Joey Barton will return to football as a manager as soon as his ban for gambling finishes (pic SNS Group).
Former Rangers midfielder Joey Barton is poised to return to football as manager of English League One side Fleetwood Town.
The controversial 35-year-old is coming towards the end of a ban imposed by the English FA for gambling on matches over a ten-year period between 2006-2016.
The suspension finishes on June 1 and he will take the reins at the Highbury Stadium 24 hours later, with current boss John Sheridan leaving at the end of the season.
“I’m very excited by the challenge,” said the ex-England, Manchester City, Newcastle and Burnley midfielder after agreeing a three-year contract.
“My first job in management was always going to be a big decision and I’m delighted. I’m joining a club with big ambitions.”
Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley said of Barton’s appointment: “He’s someone I’ve known for a number of years and I’m convinced he’s ready to make the step into management, and that he will be a huge success.
“Today’s news signals a new chapter for Fleetwood Town which starts on 2 June, and one which we are all excited about.”
In April last year, Barton was banned for 18 months by the English FA after being found guilty of placing 1260 bets on matches over a 10-year period. A successful appeal saw the punishment reduced by five months.
Barton moved to Ibrox from Burnley in May 2016 on a two-year deal but failed to make any sort of impact. He was sacked after just six months following a bust-up with former manager Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday.
Since his exit, he hasn’t been shy in criticising the game north of the Border, recently commenting on talkSPORT: “I decided I couldn’t deal with the poor standards around me.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the tradition of Scottish football – Celtic and Rangers and the Old Firm – but the standard of football, let’s be serious, is pathetic up there.”