Fleetwood Town have revealed the identity of their next team boss: ex-Burnley midfielder Joey Barton.
Having announced this afternoon that current head coach John Sheridan will leave Highbury when his short-term deal expires in the summer, the club has confirmed that Barton is set to take over once his ban from football has been completed.
Sheridan has guided Fleetwood to League One safety in his 11-game reign but now Barton, 35, has penned a three-year deal to take over.
Barton will take charge when his suspension from football ends on June 1.
He was found to have breached FA betting rules last April, though his original 18-month ban was reduced.
The midfielder has visited Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex this season and is a friend of club owner Andy Pilley, having almost signed on loan in 2012.
The former Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR, Marseille and Rangers star has been training hard between media commitments.
But he will not be returning to Burnley to resume his playing career and has been seen at some recent Fleetwood matches.
Barton said: “I’m very excited by the challenge and the project at Fleetwood Town.
“It’s a club I’ve known for a long time, and a chairman I already have a very good relationship with.
“My first job in management was always going to be a big decision for me and I’m delighted with the opportunity ahead, I’m joining a club with big ambitions. I’m looking forward to getting started on June 2nd."
Chairman Andy Pilley added: “This is a huge appointment for Fleetwood Town Football Club and one I’m very excited about.
“Joey not only brings a host of experience and profile, but I also feel he has the potential to become one of the best in the new generation of coaches"
“He’s someone I’ve known for a number of years and I’m convinced he’s ready to make the step into management, and that he will be a huge success.
“Joey will be able to build-on the fantastic work done by John Sheridan during the last couple of months, one he deserves huge credit for.
“John joined us on a short term arrangement with the aim of keeping us in League One and I’m delighted he’s been able to do that.
“Today’s news signals a new chapter for Fleetwood Town which starts on June 2nd, and one which we are all excited about.”