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Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton ‘pushed rival manager and left him with broken tooth in fury at goal celebrations’

BRISTOL Rovers manager Joey Barton “pushed” football boss Daniel Stendel after being “angry” that his rival “celebrated goals too much”, a court has heard.

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

PA

He was accused physically assaulting Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel in the tunnel after a touchline bust-up in April 2019[/caption]

PA

Daniel Stendel was left with a damaged tooth[/caption]

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. 

Wearing a dark suit, blue shirt and navy tie, he sat in the dock at Sheffield Crown Court today.

PA

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault[/caption]

Prosecutor Ian Goldsack said: “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.

PA

Joey Barton grinned as he arrived at Sheffield Crown Court[/caption]

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.”

The Sun

It’s thought Mr Barton was telling him not to celebrate his goals so much[/caption]

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.

Mr Goldsack told the jury: “Football is a sport which can arouse great passion.

“Clearly there was some history to this fixture, and some degree of antagonism between the respective coaching staffs.

“Mr Barton’s mood no doubt was not helped by having lost the previous match.

“Or by having a player sent off just after it looked as though his team might get back in the game, by Barnsley then extending its lead with a third goal and by the defeat that came with the final whistle.

“Perhaps his anger had not subsided from their exchange moments before, pitchside. 

Perhaps the temptation of Mr Stendel ahead of him was too great.

“But the prosecution say you can be sure it was he who caused Mr Stendel to fall forward and suffer his injuries by pushing against him.”

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.

In 2017, while playing for Rangers, he was banned from football for 18 months after admitting to a charge from the FA about placing bets on football matches.

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

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