NOT GUILTY: Joey Barton cleared over 2019 tunnel incident
PA - Bradley Collyer
Former Premier League footballer Joey Barton has been cleared of pushing over a rival manager at the end of a match, leaving him bloodied and with a broken tooth.
When the Bristol Rovers manager gave evidence last week, Barton, 39, denied it was him who shoved then-Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel in the tunnel after a League One match between his Fleetwood Town team and the South Yorkshire side on April 13 2019.
Mr Stendel told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court how he was walking down the tunnel in the corner of Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium after his side’s 4-2 victory when he was knocked over by a push from behind, causing him to hit his face on the metal structure.
Video footage shown repeatedly during the trial showed Mr Stendel entering the tunnel followed by Barton, jogging, a moment later.
Barton admitted using “industrial language” during the handshake, but denied he was aggressive nor that there were tensions between the two managers during the match.
He explained that he had only tried to explain to Mr Stendel that, if Barnsley did not control their coaching staff, they might be personally liable to substantial fines from the league.
The jury took under two hours to find Barton not guilty of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a week-long trial.
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