Joey Barton: Bristol Rovers boss issues apology after post-match Holocaust comments
Joey Barton has issued an apology after he made a holocaust analogy in his post-match interview last week.
Rovers suffered a 3-1 defeat to Newport County in their last game and the 39-year-old used a term which he said was meant to be in reference to inconsistencies to player performances in the squad.
Following his comments, he was contacted by the Football Association, who did not deem his comments punishable, but instead educated him of his responsibilities.
Before taking questions from the media, he said: “I’m just going to say there were some comments made after the press conference last week where clearly no offence was meant, but some people have rightly pointed out to me the use of the analogy was not correct.
“The FA wrote to me this week to remind us of our language and communications, and the last thing you want to do is cause offence or upset anybody. So if anybody was offended by that, I would like to apologise for that and I think the FA were right to write to me and remind me of that. You hope to use better analogies in future, but it was certainly with no malice or offence intended to anybody.”
In addition, Barton stated the importance of maintaining a good public image with the media.
He said: "It’s our duty to be word perfect and not create controversy,
"I get that everything we say, even this I’m saying now will no doubt be pieced together in such a way that it will be there to grab and capture the attention of people that use social media, the internet.
"For me, it was a poor analogy to use in the context of the modern-day world we live in, and it won’t happen again."
Focusing on matters on the field, Rovers are in action on Saturday against Harrogate Town.
Harrogate are currently sixth in the league, with six wins, five draws and three defeats.
They are managed by Simon Weaver, who has held the role at the club since 2009, since being appointed by his father Irving, who is the chairman.
The Yorkshire club finished 17th in their first season in the Football League last season and this will be the first meeting between them and Rovers at this level.
He said: “We play a side on Saturday in Harrogate Town who have had a lot of sustainability, a lot of balance in their club.
“They’ve got solid continuity running right through the football club and it’s no surprise to see them rise up the levels and do as well as they have.
“They are a really good side with a right chance of promotion this year based on the viewing of the last week.”