Fleetwood Town owner Andy Pilley releases a further statement on the sacking of manager Joey Barton which was confirmed on Monday.
The Cod Army’s youth team boss Simon Wiles has been appointed interim manager and will be assisted by Steve Macauley and Barry Nicholson along with goalkeeping coach Dave Lucas.
Joey Barton’s coaching staff, Clint Hill and Andy Mangan, were also relieved of their duties along with director of football Eddy Jennings.
Their last game in their roles was Saturday’s 1-1 league draw at Crewe Alexandra, leaving them 10th in the League One table, taking 29 points from 20 games played for the 2020/21 season.
A brief club statement on Monday confirmed Barton’s departure: “Fleetwood Town can confirm manager Joey Barton has left the club with immediate effect.
“We would like to thank Joey for his work during his time at Highbury Stadium and wish him success in the future.”
Fans could only assume that the statement was so short because possibly something else has happened behind the scenes, or the Ched Evans situation was enough to give Barton and co the chop.
Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley then took to Twitter, writing: “I’d like to put on record my thanks to Joey Barton for job he’s done during his time at @ftfc. I’m sure he will go on to have a hugely successful career.
“Today’s 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.”
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Various reports claim that Pilley is currently in South Africa, but has spent the last few days looking into the background of the Evans fallout and is a known fan of the striker.
Barton revealed he was letting Evans go after alleged disciplinary breaches, but Pilley has been left to clear up the mess – with Preston, Sunderland and Ipswich keen to sign him.
One journalist has revealed on Tuesday morning that it’s the Lilywhites who have agreed a deal for Ched Evans, with the transfer to be a loan deal until the end of the season.
Pilley has backed Barton in previoys controversies in the past, his bust up with Daniel Stendel being one of them, but this has been the final episode. And it also comes on the top of indifferent results.
Fleetwood have been tipped for promotion this season but they are slipping away despite signing experienced players to add to the squad that missed out in the playoffs last season.
Barton said last month: “He’s no longer with us and he’ll leave the building due to his discipline and his behaviour.
“There’s been multiple infractions and we always try to give a bit of leeway but it’s just run its course.”
Barton’s departure has come as a shock, due to the close relationship that the 38-year-old had with the chairman, as well as the improvements the club have made season by season until now.
Fleetwood reached the League One playoffs last season under Barton, but lost 6-3 on aggregate to Wycombe in the semi finals.
The former Newcastle, Manchester City and QPR midfielder had seen his side pick up just one win in their previous eight games, losing twice and drawing five of those.
Fleetwood’s key problem in their recent run of poor form has been a lack of goals, with only four scored in the previous eight matches, something that could have been better had Ched Evans be allowed to play.
It would seem that Ched Evans’ comedy act at Fleetwood Town was the final straw for unamused boss Joey Barton according to reports.
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Dressing-room sources says that the manager failed to see the funny side of a comedy routine performed by Evans, seeing him deliver part of a regular Friday routine.
Barton is said to have already called out a number of players in training for wearing tights and gloves to protect themselves from the cold.
So in turn, Evans used that in his slot on a punishment game called The Spin (Wheel of Fortune-style) for minor offences, which saw him land on a ‘magic trick’, so he produced pictures of Barton and his coaching staff mocked up as ‘muscle-bound super heroes’ – and then had photos of each of them wearing gloves in training sessions during their own careers.
Fans reacted as the Fleetwood owner releases a further statement on the sacking of Joey Barton…
@lukecfletcher: Danny Cowley
@Hamerr20: Full respect for @capboy70 coming out and tweeting, if a new direction then we want someone like Danny cowley!
@Mark90322152: Maybe we won’t get someone that doesn’t argu with so many refs and behave aggressive. We need calm and level headed. Not say that Joey was heaven’s forbid
@breakell_s: Why now and what new direction is the club going too?
@larkholmelad: Ian Holloway has time on his hands.
@powellBFC93: Pilley talks some bollocks doesn’t he. Acting like it’s a result motivated decision when they’re only 3 points off playoffs is a clear lie..
@JustoRandomGuy: Thanks Andy. You have Always got the club in mind and even tho it’s probably cost some ££ to do, I agree that this change was needed. My personal opinion would please don’t have Chris beech. But more of a established manager who will play 2 up top. Ched and paddy please
@DJButler1965: I’m sure u will have lots of applications of a very high standard ! This is a fabulous opportunity for the right person! #OnwardTogether @ftfc @PoolfootFarm @BESUtilitiesUK
@Davysom71: Paul Cook or Chris Beech,please not Holloway as some have been mentioning
Took some bollocks that Andy, plenty of decent of managers out of work and im sure they will be plenty of applicants if their aware of Poolfoot..Paul Cook is the obvious choice..
— Woz Ingham (@Wozz77) January 4, 2021
Am I missing something here .
Play offs last year 3 points off it this year ??
— Gonn@scoreinaminute. (@Matt33672078) January 4, 2021
the official statement was hilariously curt. I suppose using the words yob and criminal may have been viewed as unprofessional.
— Adi Mowles (@adi_mowles) January 4, 2021