Bristol Rovers sacked ex-Newcastle midfielder just 48 hours after he made controversial speech on rival boss

Bristol Rovers have fired former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton following a poor start to the League One season.

Bristol Rovers have fired manager Joey Barton after almost three years at the Memorial Stadium, only hours after he referred to rival manager Steve Evans as a “fat man.”

Barton led The Gas to an improbable promotion from League Two in the 2021-22 season, with a 7-0 win over Scunthorpe on the penultimate day of the season – the final goal scored by current Magpies player Elliot Anderson – propelling the West Country club ahead on goals scored.


Joey Barton: Bristol Rovers boss says his conduct must improve - BBC Sport


A decent 17th-place result in his debut season at League One level provided the team with a platform to build on for the current season, but Rovers have only four wins all season and are 16th in the standings. Rovers are barely five points clear of the relegation zone, with relegation looming.

And his departure has coincided with allegations that he branded Steve Evans a ‘fat guy’ and a ‘weeble’ following their 1-1 draw on Tuesday evening.

Evans chastised Scunthorpe for fielding a junior squad in that legendary 7-0 triumph in 2022, arguing that Northampton – who missed out at Rovers’ expense – should have gone up instead. “It’s a helluva lot different looking at the fixture list and seeing a trip to Pride Park and a trip to Hillsborough, rather than Crawley and Stevenage and big Steve Evans charging up and down the touchline,” Barton responded at the time.

“Has he said anything this week?” It had to be in between yelling at officials. He said something to the effect that we were fortunate. I haven’t read it; I’ve only heard good things about it. I’m not sure why; it’s strange. Nothing is wrong with what he said. We’re up and running now, so tough s*** on that one.”

However, after being fired, Barton will have to look for work outside of the south west. “Bristol Rovers Football Club can confirm that today the club relieved First Team Manager Joey Barton of his duties,” the club said in a statement.


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