Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton urges Oystons to give his settlement fee to charity

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has not tried to reclaim a £20,000 settlement fee from the Oystons for calling them “asset strippers” but he urged the family to give that sum to charity on the eve of Saturday’s derby.

Barton was threatened with legal action and settled out of court in 2015.

But, following the High Court judgement in 2017 when Judge Marcus Smith condemned them for asset stripping the club, Barton took to Twitter to reveal he has instructed his lawyers to recoup the money he was forced to pay.

He said: “I said something about somebody else, (Newcastle United owner) Mike Ashley I think at the time and referenced one of the Oystons and was subsequently hit with a libel by him.

“If someone says you can make it go away for £20k or go to court and spend £250k and you still might not be able to recoup that, it was a mathematical solution to make it go away – always knowing that I was correct and history and information has proven me correct on that matter.

“To open up another legal thing for the point of £20k, I could not be bothered. That is the reality.

“If he (Karl Oyston) wants to give me it back and admit he was wrong then fine, I will take it back and donate it to a worthy cause.

“He should maybe give it back and give it to a charity in the local area.

“I hope he is content with it, I hope it has changed his life for the better but also me just knowing I was right and calling him out on it was worth giving him the money.”

Despite the ruling that saw Justice Marcus Smith order the Oyston family to buy out Valeri Belokon for £31.27m, Owen is still in charge at Bloomfield Road.

When asked about his views on the ownership, Barton said his priority is beating Blackpool in the league for the first time in Town’s history.

He said: “It is nothing to do with me. I am gutted for the fans because I hate to see the fans disrupted from the football club because they are the football club.

“I have got more on my plate making sure Fleetwood are successful and doing the right thing here. The key for us is making sure we beat them on Saturday.

“Football is a ruthless industry; if someone else is having a tough time, so be it.

“You have just got to make sure that you keep your side of the street clean and that will be our intention on the game Saturday.”

Blackpool did not wish to comment when approached by the Gazette.

Fleetwood Town’s FA Cup First Round tie at Alfreton Town has been moved to Sunday November 11 (12:45pm) and will be covered by BBC single camera footage.