Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Joey Barton arrives at court after ‘pushing rival manager in fury at his goal celebrations’

JOEY Barton has arrived at court today for his trial where he is accused of pushing a manager in a row over a goal celebration.

Former England international Barton, 38, is accused of pushing Daniel Stendel, who was then Barnsley manager, at the South Yorkshire side's Oakwell Stadium, leaving the German coach with a damaged tooth. 


The former Manchester City, Newcastle United and Burnley midfielder was managing Fleetwood Town at the time of the alleged incident in April 2019.

Barton, who played for Newcastle between 2007 and 2011, was charged following an incident in the tunnel after the League One match between Barnsley and Fleetwood, which ended in a 4-2 victory for the home team. 

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. 

He arrived at Sheffield Crown Court today dressed in a dark suit and jacket.

BARTON 'MADE NO APOLOGY'

Yesterday, prosecutor Ian Goldsack told the court: "Mr Stendel looked up and saw the defendant passing him.

"Mr Barton made no apology, and did nothing to acknowledge what had happened.

"It was a deliberate act, done with enough force to knock someone off-balance, which of course is precisely what happened.

"The most serious injuries were to Mr Stendel's mouth, including an upper right incisor being moved out of the bone with associated nerve damage."

Mr Goldsack said tempers flared during the League One clash when midfielder Cameron McGeehan gave Barnsley a 3-1 lead in the 70th minute – shortly after a Fleetwood Town player saw red.

The goal was celebrated wildly by the Barnsley dug-out, the jury was told.




Mr Goldsack added: "At that point Mr Barton approached Mr Stendel’s technical area.

"Mr Stendel’s English is limited but he believed Mr Barton was telling him not to celebrate his goals so much.

"Mr Barton seemed angry and confrontational. Mr Stendel told him to return to his area.

"Mr Stendel was unsure whether he wanted to shake hands with Mr Barton at the end, as is customary, but did so.

"Mr Barton was clearly still very worked-up and used foul language towards Mr Stendel who realised he was being insulted.

"Mr Stendel pulled away from Mr Barton and went to clap the home fans before turning to walk back towards the home dressing room.

"As Mr Stendel walked through the tunnel, the defendant ran past a number of people and entered the tunnel behind him.

"Mr Stendel felt a push from behind and fell forward, hitting his face against part of the tunnel structure causing the injuries you have seen."

CCTV showed a dazed Mr Stendel, whose face was covered in blood, being helped away by two security guards.

The alleged assault followed "a fraying of tempers and raised temperatures" in the reverse fixture at Fleetwood Town's Highbury Stadium in September 2018.

At the end of a 3-1 defeat Barton allegedly gripped Mr Stendel's hand "extremely firmly" and for "a prolonged period" in an "intimidatory gesture".

Barton was later arrested on suspicion of ABH but refused to comment during his police interview, the jury heard.

Instead he gave cops a prepared statement in which he admitted using "industrial language" on the touchline but denied barging into Mr Stendel in the tunnel.

'GREAT PASSION'

He claimed he had no idea what had happened until he got back into the away side's dressing room.

If convicted, Barton could face a maximum of five years in prison if his case is sent to the Crown Court.

Twelve jurors were selected after a panel was asked a series of questions including "have you heard of Joey Barton?" and "do you have any opinions about Joey Barton?"

The potential jurors were also asked whether they were at the match or watched it on TV and also whether they were Barnsley or Fleetwood Town supporters.

Police previously confirmed: "On Saturday 13 April 2019, a man was left with facial injuries after an incident in the club tunnel around 5pm, following the conclusion of Barnsley's match against Fleetwood Town."

He was later arrested after Barnsley complained to South Yorkshire Police about the alleged incident.

Barton started his football career with Manchester City in 2002 after going through their youth system and went on to make 150 appearances for the club.

He then moved to Newcastle United in a £5.8million transfer in July 2007 before leaving for Queens Park Rangers in August 2011.

The midfielder was then put on loan to French side Marseille during the 2012-13 season before making his way to Burnley for one season – helping promote them to the Premier League.

The footballer began his management career with Fleetwood Town in June 2018 but left in January.

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