Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton reveals why Ched Evans got the sack last Saturday, which left the nation surprised on social media.
The Cod Army decided to get rid of the Welshman, it was confirmed by the boss after Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic.
The club currently sit 10th in the League One table, taking 29 points from 20 games played so far.
There was speculation prior the game as to why he wasn’t picked, then it was revealed that the striker missed training and therefore cannot be selected, with others thinking he got injured.
Head coach Barton cited that it was disciplinary issues and a series of “infractions” as well as his behaviour that ultimately forced his decision.
Infractions for those who don’t know means ‘a violation or infringement of a law or agreement’.
Dressing-room sources have also claimed the final straw was when the manager failed to see the funny side of a comedy act Evans delivered as part of a regular Friday routine. Barton is said to have called out a number of players in training for wearing tights and gloves to protect themselves from the cold.
The 31-year-old scored a total of 12 times the following season and has seven so far this term, though is now looking for a new club.
Ahead of the’s trip to Crewe Alexandra, which ended in a 1-1 draw, he said: “It will be a tough period until the window opens and I don’t even know if we’ll be able to bring anybody in of that quality in the window.
“They are tough to find, but on the flipside, I believe in culture and paying your dues every single day.
“I know the ramifications of getting big decisions wrong and I’ve not shied away from them over my tenure here.
“Multiple times there have been fan favourites (who have left), be it Ash Hunter, Cian Bolger, Bobby Grant… I’ve been critiqued for it and that is the nature of the job.
“It always comes with the territory, so I expect the Ched [Evans] one will be the same.”
However, after the 1-1 draw with Wigan last week, Barton felt it was right to speak frankly about the situation.
He said he wanted to be open to supporters and end the questions which were being asked about the absence of Evans.
Barton added: “It has been rumbling on with people asking me where he is – and I’m not a manager who likes to hide the reality.
“I think it’s important for our fanbase and the people who care about Fleetwood to know where they stand.
“A fully fit and at it Ched Evans in that game (against Wigan) would have been an asset to us, as he would be for anybody.
“At this moment in time my belief is that we’re better off without him.”
“I like Ched, I’ve got enormous respect for him, but it’s got to the point where you have to act if someone keeps crossing the line,” said Barton.
“I’ve decided as a manager that there has to be a change of scenery for him now.
“What has happened will stay in our dressing room. It’s nothing major, it’s just a number of things that have gone on recently.”
“It would’ve helped if we’d have had Ched (Evans). He’s no longer with us and he’ll leave the building due to his discipline and his behaviour.
— BBC Lancashire Sport (@BBCLancsSport) December 19, 2020
Until the Cod Army can move to recruit a replacement next month, Barton has challenged his younger players to step up to the plate.
He said: “With Ched not being in the picture we are a player down.
“We will certainly feel that short-term because we’re not Sunderland with bags and bags of players.
“The challenge is for someone to step up and fill those shoes and it looks like it’s going to be a younger player, a Shayden Morris or a Harvey Saunders who will get an opportunity.
“We’ll continue to get stronger and stronger but short-term we’ve lost a good player in Ched.
“But for us it’s an opportunity for someone to step into the breach and try to replace that kind of player.”
He called on the Fleetwood fans to have faith in him and his decision.
The head coach added: “I’ve spoken to Ched and explained to him where it was at.
“At the Blackburn pre-season game he was told in no uncertain terms that if anything like that happens again he would leave.
“For me, in the Swindon game attitude and application were not where they needed to be.
“I spoke to him about that and the response was not the correct response, so it’s an amicable, ‘Look, you need to find yourself a new club in January’.
“We’re going to go in a different direction. He’s been great since he’s been here.
“There have been great moments and he’s scored a lot of goals for us but everything runs its natural course.
“As a manager you have to make tough decisions, decisions you feel will benefit the group.
“And anybody who doubts me – and there will be a few of them, I’m sure – they only need to look at the decisions I’ve made in the last two-and-a-half years.
“Fleetwood wouldn’t be competing at the level they have been if those decisions had not been successful.”
CHED EVANS’ CAREER:
1999–2000 – Rhyl
2000–2002 – Chester City
2002–2007 – Manchester City
2007–2009 – Manchester City – 16 apps (1 goal)
2007–2008 → Norwich City (loan) – 28 apps (10 goals)
2009–2012 – Sheffield United – 103 apps (42 goals)
2016–2017 – Chesterfield – 25 apps (5 goals)
2017–2019 – Sheffield United – 9 apps (0 goals)
2018–2019 → Fleetwood Town (loan) – 39 apps (17 goals)
2019–2020 Fleetwood Town – 40 apps (14 goals)
2006–2007 – Wales U19 – 4 apps (1 goal)
2007–2009 – Wales U21 – 13 apps (13 goals)
2008–2011 – Wales – 13 apps (1 goal)
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) April 9, 2019
Fans reacted as Joey Barton reveals why Ched Evans got the sack, most expressed their desire to see him sign for their club…
Ched Evans, Kieran Lee and Dion Donohue would make this squad so much more robust and versatile. Let’s get it done! #bwfc
— Jakob (@JakoBWFC) December 26, 2020
Ched Evans #BWFC
— Jack Evans (@WackoJackoEvans) December 22, 2020
Joey Barton sacking off Ched Evans for disciplinary issues is like Owen Oyston telling Prince Andrew he’s a pervert.
— Steve McDonald (@M55SNM) December 20, 2020
Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any more strange. Joey Barton sacks Ched Evans for behavioural reasons 😂😂
— Daniel Williams (@welshy711) December 20, 2020
Wrexham’s new owners probably wouldn’t
— Patrick O’Brien (@NorwoodTrash) December 21, 2020
There’s a certain irony in Joey Barton sacking a player for discipline and behaviour problems.
— Michael Prosser (@mikeproshotmai1) December 20, 2020
Scores 1 goal approx in 3 games. I think Newport County should come in for him. A Welshman and with Flynn as his manager. Would be a great match up. ⚽️⚽️⚽️
— Paul Chiplin (@paul9565) December 21, 2020
There’s not a chance the club will entertain him
— Dan Franks (@DanielFranks85) December 21, 2020