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Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims made by 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst

Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims which have this week been made by 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst Jamie Hedges.

Hedges, the youngest head of recruitment in English football, and previously worked as an analyst for the League One club, these days currently holds the position of head of recruitment at Aldershot Town.

He shared his negative experience when being subjected to a demeaning situation where he was asked to perform ’50 keepy-ups’ and was then insulted by Joey Barton in front of other staff members.

In response to these allegations, Barton took to social media to refute the claims made in an interview with Bristol Post.

Barton accused Hedges of spreading false information and even referred to him as a ‘spy’ within Tommy Widdrington’s team, with Widdrington the head of recruitment at Bristol Rovers during that time and currently serves as the manager also at Aldershot.

Barton hit back via social media, saying Hedges’ interview with the Bristol Post is ‘full of lies’ and that he was a ‘spy’ in Tommy Widdrington’s camp.

Hedges, a lifelong Bristol Rovers fan and had a season ticket since he was the age of four, said in his interview with the Bristol Post, said: ‘It was after we lost to Wigan 2-1 in midweek, and then we came in on the Thursday. I was just on my laptop doing my work and minding my own business with the other support staff and Joey came in and I could just tell he was angry. He just looked at me straight away and I think that just set him off.

‘He just picked up a football in the room, pointed at me in front of all the staff and said, ‘oi you, come outside now and give me 50 keepy-ups or I don’t want to ever see you again.’ I sort of laughed it off to begin with but he said he was serious.

‘I went outside and obviously I’m young at this point and was taken aback by it. Obviously I didn’t do 50 keepy-ups.’

He added: ‘My role has nothing to do with being able to play football. I’m watching, not playing.

‘I’ve walked back into the office and he’s just said to all the staff, ‘this is the s*** that I’ve got at this club who will never have a career in the game.’ He just basically said that he never wanted to see me again. That was that, and to be honest, that was probably the first time I had actually spoken to him.

‘I’m not going to lie, it really hurt. I’m working for my club and I’ve never worked harder. Things didn’t go right but that’s football. I said to Tommy and my family at the time, if he had ever just pulled me for a chat and said, ‘look, we want to go in a different direction and I’ve got other people that I want to bring in’ I would have just said fair enough, that’s football. The way that he went about it is just wrong.

‘He’s just a bully. I think he waited for the person that would have stood up for me to not be around anymore. The very first day Tommy wasn’t around, he decided to pile into me.’

Hedges linked up with Tommy Widdrington to King’s Lynn town and was made head of recruitment, then followed him again to Aldershot Town and is still the youngest person to hold the role in the country.

Barton seen this, and claimed to have eight witnesses to the ‘keepy ups incident’ and proceeded to hit out at both Hedges and Widdrington.

Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims made by 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst

Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims made by 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst

Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims made by 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst

He tweeted: ‘This article is fabricated by Jamie. It’s full of lies. He’s a fantasist who was @TommyWidd’s spy in our camp. Proven by TW taking with him to last two jobs.’

Barton added: ‘Ask TW why @waelaqadi (Bristol Rovers’ president) sacked him.

‘I have 8 witness to the said ‘Keepy ups’ incident. All willing to give statements to the contrary. Jamie was removed because like most at the club at the time, they were poor at their jobs. Actually incompetent.

‘If the Bristol Post don’t take down the article within the next 24hrs and apologise for the lies printed within it, I will be forced to get my legal team involved. Ball is in your court.’

Bristol Post said that Barton issued them with a statement, where he said: ‘I inherited an amateur environment at Bristol Rovers created by Tommy Widdrington, where the terrible player recruitment had seen us relegated comfortably and he was the chief scout. He had far too much influence for someone with such a poor track record and as per my brief to fix things I removed him for that reason.

‘We were promoted the following season at the first time of asking, winning 7-0 on the last day of the season against Scunthorpe to give the Gasheads a day to remember forever. For the record, he [Hedges] did two keepy-ups.’

Bristol Post also report that Bristol Rovers in a statement said that a complaint was not made at the time, but that all complaints are taken seriously and investigated fully.

Twitter users reacted as Joey Barton angrily denies ‘bully’ claims made by the 23 year old former Bristol Rovers analyst…

@NatJPeters: You’re going to Court more than Andy Murray at the moment Joey.

@StilingJason:
Fuck me.
This is great.
Want another whip round la?

@holmz1980: Your legal team are a busy bunch aren’t they? Will you be setting up another crowd fund to finance this latest activity? 😂😂😂

@ParaPaul78: Naaaw bless. Poor joey had his feelings hurt. He doesn’t give a toss when he’s the one giving it. First to cry like a baby when someone gives it back.

@Tom1Walker0: OHHH TOMMY TOMMY!! Joey Barton, you never change 🤡

@thatchersend: All I ask for is just one day where the club isn’t being fucking dragged through mud by someone or something. Both sides are probably right in what they’re saying but it’s dirty laundry being aired online again, so exhausting.

@Ryann_BRFC_95: Another normal day of supporting the Gas in 2024

@WAFCNathan: Hi Joey, how’s it been entirely fabricated when you’ve literally admitted the main part is true

@Captain_Herby: 24 hours and ticking before the begging bowl comes out again…

@simo180_: The pair of them have turned Aldershot around. They’ve been absolutely unreal.

@JDHibs: Joey Barton being a bully & a general cunt isn’t really a surprise anymore is it?

@TwittishGas: Joey Barton in ‘bit of a tosser’ shock. Well I never…

@timn257: Joey Barton is the worst thing to ever happen to BRFC and the fact that he was ever appointed is an embarrassment and an indelible blot on the club’s history book. You were plenty warned of his character @waelalqadi, such a shame you chose not to listen.

@potterlytics: Barton is a bully, a coward, and I am so glad he’s shown his arse enough to never work in football again. This is so grim and fair play to Hedges for taking it in his stride and achieving loads since this happened.

@ReeceDSport: Big up @jamiehedges76. Thank Christ there are some good people in football because there really are some people who…. arent and who could kill a career

@1MichaelWillett: Joey Barton is one thing and of no surprise at all. The fact that the club stood by and let this type of behaviour to thrive is unbelievable. Well done and all the best to Jamie Hedges 👏🏻.

@B1lbo5: What a dickhead Barton is

@DanClarkPR: I will be a happy person if Barton never gets a role in football again. What a piece of shit. Good on Jamie – obviously some great things going on at Aldershot.

@SteveBu75544303: Known his Mum for years. I believe every word, so shows yet again what sort of man Barton is.

@holmz1980: Barton is a bully.. who knew? Still cannot believe the vile rat was ever employed by our great club. A stain on our history 👎

@Hxrry11_: What a knobhead you really are. Bullying kids because you can’t do the job in league 1. @Joey7Barton

@180Gas: What a complete cock the previous incumbent is! Fair play to @jamiehedges76 for not letting it knock his progress in football. He clearly has an eye for talent 👏

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