Trial of Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton for allegedly pushing Barnsley manager delayed for year due to coronavirus

The trial of football boss Joey Barton, who allegedly assaulted another manager, has been delayed for a year because of coronavirus and the football season.

Fleetwood Town boss Barton, 37, was due to go on trial yesterday (Mon), accused of pushing Barnsley's then-manager Daniel Stendel after a match in April 2019.

The trial was initially adjourned because of Covid-19, but has now been rearranged again for June 2021 to avoid clashing with the football season.

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Ex-Manchester City midfielder Barton was charged following the incident in the tunnel at Oakwell Stadium after a League One match between the sides.

Joey Barton cc SWNS

German manager Mr Stendel was said to be left with a damaged tooth after the incident, which came at the end of a 4-2 victory for Barnsley.

Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing.

The former England international was excused from Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, where the new provisional trial date was fixed for 7 June 2021.

Barristers said having the trial during the football season could cause "difficulties" for both Mr Barton and Mr Stendel, who is now manager of Scottish side Hearts.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said it was unfortunate to have such an "enormous" delay, but that it was "no-one's fault".

He added the new date was ‘realistic’ as the case would not be classed as a priority when trials are resumed at the court after the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “This case cannot take priority, for example, over an allegation of a serious sexual offence, a case involving children of one type or another, either as defendants or alleged victims, or cases of exceptionally serious violence.

"I cite those merely as examples of cases which would take priority.

“This case, although serious for those involved, is not, on any analysis, to be regarded as a priority case. Accordingly, it will be low in the level of case to be tried.

“I should add, for the sake of completeness, that is no-one's fault.

"It is simply a statement of the obvious in the midst of the current Covid-19 national emergency.

“It is most unfortunate that that date is now over a year away, but I suspect this case will not be the only one that is adjourned for that period of time away, given the current crisis.”

Barton made 269 appearances in the Premier League during his playing career, including 130 for Manchester City.

He also had spells at Newcastle United and Burnley before entering management when his playing days ended.

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