Burnley manager Sean Dyche appears to have no regrets over signing Joey Barton, despite the midfielder receiving an 18-month ban after being proved guilty of gambling offences that were overhanging the 34-year old when he re-signed for the club.
"He's delivered for us on and off the pitch"
The charge was imposed on Barton during his brief spell of Rangers, resulting in a mutual termination of his contract. Dyche offered Barton a second spell at Burnley but he has since been found guilty of 1,260 football bets just this week.
Dyche advised "I have spoken to him and told him to go away and look after his family, let the dust settle and get his head down".
However, the former defender was full of praise for his energetic midfielder. “He’s been a good character to have around. He’s delivered for us on and off the pitch, both as a professional and as a club man".
Dyche also suggested Barton played a crucial part in his first spell at the club and this brief second encounter. “He’s definitely helped on the journey, from last season through that fantastic season and into this one where are working hard to finish it off in the correct way".
"I still think it's a little bit harsh"
Dyche did admit that Barton was wrong in what he did explaining “we know the rules, Joey knew the rules, let’s make that clear. Everyone knows you don’t gamble on football when you’re in football. There’s no trying to swerve what the incident is. It’s the outcome of that and we fully accept the FA's decision".
However, the Burnley boss also suggested "when you look at some of the other incidents down the years in football I still think it’s a little bit harsh".
Dyche now hopes the FA will look at other forms of foul play within the game. “The overriding thing I hope is the FA seem to be gripping hold of these things and I can only presume they move onto the cheating in the game which I have spoken about endlessly. I presume the powers will start looking at that, using video evidence and retrospective banning".
The FA have since claimed the penalty is the lowest possible they could have given Barton for the incidents.