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Fleetwood chairman Pilley defends Barton appointment

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley has defended their appointment of Joey Barton as new manager.

Former Burnley midfielder Barton was hit with an 18-month suspension, reduced to 13, a year ago for breaching FA gambling rules.

It ends on June 2 where he will take over as head coach at the Cod Army in League One, in a deal which was agreed prior to the club's short-term appointment of John Sheridan.

Pilley told The Sun: “It doesn't bother me. Clearly Joey regrets what occurred but I'm all about looking forwards.

“I really enjoy his company. He's not the guy a lot of people believe him to be. He's made mistakes in the past but so has everybody.

“He's box office. If we want to increase the profile of the football club he'll certainly do that.

“He's very intelligent, he's an excellent communicator, has huge energy levels and is very driven. He has all the attributes to be a top coach.

“He's going to be raw, I understand that. There's an responsibility on me and the other people at the football club to assist him. But I think he can take us right to the top of League One."

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Paul Vegas

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