Joey Barton: Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley not worried about new head coach's past

Joey Barton almost joined Fleetwood on a six-month loan deal from Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to expedite a 12-game ban for violent conduct
Joey Barton almost joined Fleetwood on a six-month loan deal from Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to expedite a 12-game ban for violent conduct

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley is not concerned about new head coach Joey Barton's past and says that he can be an asset to the League One club.

The 35-year-old, who was appointed on Wednesday on a three-year deal, will be in post once his ban for betting has ended on 1 June.

Current boss John Sheridan will leave at the end of the season.

"Everybody's made mistakes but I care about the future, not the past," Pilley told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"There was a perception out there that Joey is not the guy I know him to be and I'm not concerned that some people think it's a bad idea.

"I know that over time he will prove that he is the person I know he is and he will be a huge asset to Fleetwood Town Football Club."

Barton was suspended for 18 months in 2017 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, however, and the once-capped former Manchester City, QPR, Burnley and England midfielder is due to begin at the club the day after his ban ends.

Barton's last appearance as a player was in Burnley's 2-0 home defeat by Manchester United in April 2017 and he was released by the Turf Moor club at the end of last season.

Pilley is unfazed about appointing a head coach with no managerial experience, having done it in the past with Micky Mellon and Graham Alexander, but agrees that it is a bold decision.

"Our bravery in this appointment will pay off," he said.

"I expect him to achieve a winning culture, to be forward-thinking and play exciting football.

"There's so much he has to offer to any football club and I think we're fortunate."

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