Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has seriously injured a rival manager after pushing him in his side’s defeat, a court has heard.
The 38-year-old is accused of pushing Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel through the tunnel at Oakwell Stadium in South Yorkshire in April 2019, leaving the German coach with a damaged tooth.
It came after Barton’s side at Fleetwood Town lost 4-2 as a result of latent tensions between the two teams that began when they met earlier in the season at Fleetwood.
Prosecutor Ian Goldsack described a handshake between Barton and Mr Stendel which the German manager “viewed as a gesture of intimidation” – and tensions continued during the game at Barnsley seven months later.
Mr Goldsack told a jury of six men and six women at Sheffield Crown Court that Barton faced Mr Stendel during the match in April.
After the final whistle, the accused was “still very angry and used foul language towards him, which Mr. Stendel did not fully understand, but realized he was being insulted”.
Mr Goldsack said the accused passed a number of people after the game and entered the tunnel behind Mr Stendel.
He said: “Mr. Stendel felt a push from behind and fell forward, slamming his face against this tunnel structure.
“He was thrown to the ground and when he looked up he saw the accused pass him.
“He believed him responsible for what happened.”
The prosecutor said: “Mr. Barton did not stop, offer no apology or do anything to acknowledge what had happened.”
The jury saw video footage showing Barton running through the tunnel after Mr. Stendel and the structure then shaking.
Other footage showed a bloodied Mr. Stendel being helped back to the locker room.
Mr Goldsack showed the jury photographs of Daniel Stendel’s injuries, claiming the most serious were his mouth, including a right upper incisor tooth removed from the bone, with some associated nerve damage.
The prosecutor said: “Football is a sport which can generate great passion.
“It is clear that there was a certain history to this game, with a certain degree of antagonism on the previous occasion.
“And Mr Barton’s mood may not have been helped by that previous loss; by sending a player off right after it looked like Fleetwood could come back into the game; by increasing his lead with a third goal. , sparking provocative celebrations from first team coach Christopher Stern; and by the loss that followed the final whistle. “
Mr Goldsack said: “Maybe his anger hadn’t calmed down after their exchange moments before at the sidelines. Maybe the temptation was too great.
“But the prosecution says you can be sure it is Mr. Barton whose actions are responsible for Mr. Stendel’s loss of balance, his advancement, the injuries you saw, and that he is guilty of unlawful assault as stated in your indictment. “
Mr Goldsack said there was “some warm-up” when the two sides met earlier in the season.
After that September 2018 match, Barton grabbed Mr. Stendel’s hand during the usual post-match handshake “with great force and firmness and for an extended period in what Mr. Stendel considered to be. a gesture of intimidation, “said the prosecutor.
When the teams met at Oakwell in April, Fleetwood had a player sent off in the second half after leading Barnsley 2-0 at halftime.
Mr Goldsack said Mr Stern “celebrated rather exuberantly” when his team scored a third, and directed those celebrations to the bench of Fleetwood “causing anger.”
He said Barton had approached Mr. Stendel’s technical area and that the German manager, whose English was limited, believed the accused was telling him “not to celebrate his goals so much”.
Mr. Goldsack told the jury: “Mr. Barton seemed angry and confrontational.”
He said the only other eyewitness to the tunnel incident was Barnsley’s first intern performance analyst Nathan Kirby, who saw how Barton “pushed against (Mr Stendel) from behind, while by continuing to run forward “.
The prosecutor said Mr Kirby described it as “a deliberate act, done with enough force to throw someone off balance, which, of course, is precisely what happened”.
He told the jury that after his arrest Barton provided a prepared statement in which he agreed to use “industrial language” on the sideline, but denied barging or assaulting Mr Stendel in the tunnel.
Barton, who is now director of Bristol Rovers, denies one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.
The jury was told that Mr Stendel will testify via video link from Germany on Tuesday.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-07 21:08:46