Joey Barton explains he’s still involved in football because he’s a ‘warrior’ – not because he needs the money

 Joey Barton Bristol Rovers manager showing his warrior-like spirit
Joey Barton Bristol Rovers manager showing his warrior-like spirit

Joey Barton says moving into management after retiring from professional football as a player was out of necessity of staying involved within the game, with the Bristol Rovers boss claiming his competitive edge wouldn't allow him to relax.

The 40-year-old's first job came with Fleetwood Town in April 2018, where he spent two-and-a-half years in charge of the Lancashire outfit.

He managed to consolidate the club in League One, but, despite controversy arising - Barton was charged with allegedly assaulting then-Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel - Barton knew he had to remain in the game following his dismissal in January 2021.

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Bristol Rovers came calling in February that year, where he has been in charge ever since. The 40-year-old says managing is out of necessity of staying involved in football, rather than out of monetary rewards.

“I’m prepared to do the work, it’s not something I do for the money," Barton tells FourFourTwo. "I’m here as a vocation. I’d go bonkers if I was out of the game. I tried punditry and it just wasn’t for me. I don’t mind doing it the odd time, but not all the time. I’m a warrior, I need to be in the arena of battle!"

Barton admits he’s always had a few dream jobs in mind.

“I’m an Evertonian, and I never played for Everton,” he says. “But it’s tough – I look through my career at Manchester City, Newcastle, Marseille, Burnley, QPR, Rangers, they’re all great clubs. I work for a great club right now that has untapped potential – no one from the city of Bristol has been in the Premier League, which is a challenge for Big Nige (Pearson) at Bristol City and myself.


“If I went back to any of my former clubs, it would be a proud moment, and I’d love to go abroad again. I’d love to coach in Italy or Spain, where I never had the chance to play, and I’d love to return to France, but I think I could only work for Marseille.

"It would be peculiar for me to work for any other side, so that’s a tricky one – they’re a massive club.”

He does believe that he can reach the top level one day, though. “Yeah, why not?” he insists.