Following his departure from Fleetwood Town yesterday, Joey Barton has issued a statement via the League Managers Association wishing the club and the fans well. Barton left the club tenth in League One having led them to the play-off semi-finals last season.
Joey Barton Issues Statement on Fleetwood Town Departure
First Managerial Job Ends
Fleetwood gave Barton his first job in football management and, after a respectable first season, he led them on a play-off charge last year, which nobody had expected. Ultimately, they were knocked out by Wycombe Wanderers, who went on to secure promotion, but Barton was lauded for how well he had got the team playing.
He thanked Fleetwood for trusting him in the role and paid tribute to the fans and the community around Fleetwood for the support they gave him.
He said: “I would also like to thank all of the coaching staff, both the ones I inherited and the ones I brought in. It has been some journey with some highs and lows and I have really enjoyed watching each of them get better every single day.
“I would like to thank the fans and say that I appreciate you sticking with me in my first management role. I am not naive enough to think I always got it right, but my only intention during my tenure was to drive this football club forward. I have nothing but good things to say about the people of Fleetwood and the surrounding community. I was welcomed from day one.
“To the players, thanks to each of you for bringing it every day. Nobody enjoyed playing against Fleetwood Town and ultimately that is down to you. Thanks for being patient with me on my coaching journey. I look forward to watching you as you continue to improve.”
Michael Duff Candidate to Replace Him
Cheltenham Town boss Michael Duff, a former teammate of Barton’s, is the leading contender to take the job, according to Jon Palmer of Gloucestershire Live.
Duff has been hailed as one of the outstanding managers in the Football League for his work since taking over the Robins in 2018. This includes guiding them from the relegation spots in his first campaign to the League Two play-offs last season and having them sitting fourth in the table at the moment.
Barton, meanwhile, has been linked with the vacant Sheffield Wednesday job. However, a piece by Greg O’Keeffe for The Athletic suggests that Barton is in no rush to get stuck into his next job.