Joey Barton has left his role as Fleetwood’s manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.
Former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR midfielder Barton, 38, had been in charge at Highbury Stadium since April 2018.
A brief statement on the club’s official website said: “Fleetwood Town can confirm manager Joey Barton has left the club with immediate effect.
Club statement: Joey Barton— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 4, 2021
“We would like to thank Joey for his work during his time at Highbury Stadium and wish him success in the future.”
The club have confirmed youth-team boss Simon Wiles has been appointed interim manager. He will be assisted by Steve Macauley and Barry Nicholson along with goalkeeping coach Dave Lucas.
Director of football Eddy Jennings and coaches Clint Hill and Andy Mangan have also left the club.
Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley said it had been a “tough decision to make” but felt that “now was the right time for the club to go in a different direction”.
“I’d like to put on record my thanks to Joey Barton for the job he’s done during his time at Fleetwood Town,” Pilley told the club’s official website.
“Joey has been a pleasure to have at the club and I’m sure he will go on to have a hugely successful career.
“We will make a further announcement in the coming days of our plans in the short-term regarding the management of our first-team squad.”
Barton guided Fleetwood to the League One play-offs last season but they lost 6-3 on aggregate to Wycombe in the semi-finals.
The Cod Army are currently 10th in the table, three points off the top six, after three successive draws. They have won only one of their last seven.
Fleetwood announced Barton as successor to John Sheridan just a day after he had completed an 18-month ban for breaking Football Association rules on betting.
Barton had been a Burnley at the time of his ban and confirmed he had hung up his boots after taking on his first managerial job.
His playing and managerial careers have been dogged by controversy and disciplinary problems.
He was handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training-ground incident in 2007.
Barton spent 74 days in prison for common assault and affray in Liverpool city centre in 2008 and was charged with violent conduct by the FA on three other occasions.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after an incident with former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel following a match in April 2019 and his trial last summer was postponed until June 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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