Fleetwood Town gives Joey Barton first shot at management
Former Manchester City, Newcastle United, and Burnley midfielder Joey Barton will enter the world of management as coach of League One side Fleetwood Town after agreeing to a three-year contract on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old will replace current bench boss John Sheridan on June 2.
Barton was banned from all football-related activities after breaching the Football Association's rules on betting in April 2017. He was found to have placed more than 1,000 bets on football matches between 2006 and 2013, and was initially suspended for 18 months. The ban was later reduced on appeal, and is now set to expire June 1.
"I'm very excited by the challenge and the project at Fleetwood Town. It's a club I've known for a long time, and a chairman I already have a very good relationship with," Barton said in a statement. "My first job in management was always going to be a big decision for me and I'm delighted with the opportunity ahead. I'm joining a club with big ambitions."
A vociferous and aggressive midfielder who was once jailed for common assault, Barton has often made headlines for the wrong reasons. However, he's also gained a reputation for his philosophical views on the game.
"Joey not only brings a host of experience and profile, but I also feel he has the potential to become one of the best in the new generation of coaches," club chairman Andy Pilley said.
Fleetwood Town is certainly on an upward trajectory, after climbing to the Football League for the first time in 2012 thanks to the scoring contributions of Jamie Vardy. The club also came close to being promoted to the Championship last season, losing to Bradford City in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
However, Fleetwood dropped off considerably midway through the current campaign, winning just three of 20 matches. Sheridan then joined on a short-term basis to keep the Cod Army from being relegated back to League Two.
The club is 14th in the League One standings with three matches left to play.