Joey Barton: Fleetwood Town appoint ex-Burnley midfielder as head coach

Joey Barton will become the new manager of League One side Fleetwood Town this summer – one day after his ban for betting ends.

Barton, 35, was suspended for 18 months by the Football Association in April 2017. This was after he was found to have placed 1,260 bets on football matches over 10 years.

His punishment was reduced by five months on appeal and ends on 1 June.

“I'm very excited by the challenge,” the ex-England, Manchester City, Newcastle and Burnley midfielder said. “It's a club I've known for a long time, and a chairman I already have a very good relationship with. “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.”

John Sheridan, who replaced Uwe Rosler as Fleetwood boss in February, will leave at the end of the season.

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It is understood there are to be no changes to the backroom staff at Fleetwood, who are 14th in League One.

Barton's last appearance was in Burnley's 2-0 home defeat by Manchester United in April of last year and he was released by the Turf Moor club at the end of last season.

Earlier in his career, he almost joined Fleetwood on a six-month loan deal from Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to expedite a 12-game ban for violent conduct.

Chairman Andy Pilley said he is “convinced” Barton, who was a summer target for Notts County boss and ex-Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan, is “ready to make the step into management, and that he will be a huge success”.

Pilley added: “Joey will be able to build on the fantastic work done by John Sheridan during the last couple of months, one he deserves huge credit for. “Today's news signals a new chapter for Fleetwood Town which starts on 2 June, and one which we are all excited about.”

Fleetwood have won six promotions in 10 seasons to climb from the ninth tier to League One.

They came close to automatic promotion to the Championship under Rosler in 2016-17 but ended up finishing fourth – the club's highest ever placing – before losing to Bradford City in the play-off semi-finals.

Read more: bbc.co.uk

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