Joey Barton: Fleetwood Town boss leaves League One club with immediate effect

Joey Barton led Fleetwood to eight wins from their 20 League One games this season
Joey Barton led Fleetwood to eight wins from their 20 League One games this season

Manager Joey Barton has left League One side Fleetwood Town after nearly three years with the club.

The 38-year-old was initially appointed in April 2018 and led the Cod Army to last season's League One play-offs.

Barton leaves Fleetwood with the club in 10th position in the table, just three points off the play-off places.

Director of football Eddy Jennings and coaches Clint Hill and Andy Mangan have also departed, with youth team boss Simon Wiles put in interim charge.

"We would like to thank Joey for his work during his time and wish him success in the future," the club said.external-link

The former Manchester City, Newcastle United and Burnley midfielder officially joined Fleetwood in his first managerial role in June 2018, a day after a ban for betting on matches ended.

In a tweet on Monday,external-link club chairman Andy Pilley thanked Barton and said the 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's first season at the club was marked by controversy after an alleged clash with former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel following a League One match at Oakwell.

Stendel, who won promotion with the Tykes that season, was said to have suffered a damaged tooth following the incident which occurred following Barnsley's 4-2 victory in April 2019.

Barton, whose playing career also included an England cap against Spain in 2007, was due to stand trial last summer having earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but the case was put back to June 2021 because of coronavirus and the interruption to the 2019-20 football season.

Fleetwood's match against Ipswich, which was scheduled for Monday evening, as well as their trip to Sunderland on Saturday, has been called off due to "several" positive coronavirus cases at the club.

Prior to the postponements, Barton had overseen a four-game unbeaten run - although Fleetwood have only won one of their past seven league matches.

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