Former Man City, Newcastle and Rangers midfielder Joey Barton signs new long-term contract with Bristol Rovers

Rovers have tied down their manager to a new contract on the first day of their pre-season schedule

<p>Joey Barton, manager of Bristol Rovers looks on.</p>

Joey Barton, manager of Bristol Rovers looks on.

First-team manager Joey Barton has committed his long-term future to Bristol Rovers by signing a new four-year contract.

Before committing to the club, Barton had been touted as a bookies favourite for the Burnley job but he stressed his commitment to the club and the Clarets ended up appointing Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany.

As he prepared for his second full season in charge, Barton was entering the final year of his contract but the Gas board have rewarded him for last season’s success with a new bumper deal.

The 39-year-old is now contracted to the club for the next three seasons and will be tasked with the job of making the club competitive in their first season back in League One.

On his new deal, Barton said: "I am delighted to sign a new deal at Bristol Rovers. The journey we have been on and the support I have received from the owner Wael Al-Qadi, the CEO Tom Gorringe and the relationship we’ve built with the Gasheads, these are all massive factors in me signing on for another four years."

Since his arrival in February 2021, Barton has overseen 72 matches, winning 29 and losing 29 as well as 14 draws. He oversaw the club's relegation to the fourth tier but was able to rebuild the club with a raft of new signings and coaching appointments.

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Barton at one point of his tenure had been understanding of a potential parting of ways after a home defeat to Leyton Orient but was persuaded by owner Wael Al-Qadi to continue.

He ended up taking the club from 17th on New Year’s Day to third, having only held that position for just 10 minutes of the League One season.

Delighted to secure the services of his manager for a further few seasons, Al-Qadi added: "I am extremely pleased Joe has decided to continue to lead the club forward.

“I am really excited to see him building this squad of talented and committed players. I wish him all the very best and this new deal hopefully shows him just how important he is to my vision for Bristol Rovers Football Club."

Rovers begin their pre-season this evening as they take a strong away contingent to non-league Melksham Town in the opening game of their four week schedule.