Joey Barton: Bargain basement shopping at Fleetwood Town is a minefield

Joey Barton admits to feeling like a 'used car salesman'
Joey Barton admits to feeling like a 'used car salesman'

Joey Barton says he does not have the luxury of shopping for Ferrari’s like Manchester City and Liverpool – the Fleetwood Town boss says shopping in League One is akin to being a used car salesman.

READ MORE: Midfielders are Town's top priority for strengthening
Barton says he is yet to spend a penny in the transfer market, though Fleetwood did purchase non-league duo Harvey Saunders and Macauley Southam-Hales in January.

Southam-Hales made his debut off the bench in the final game of the season, the 1-0 defeat to Wycombe.

And Saunders will start pre-season with the first team, having immediately rejoined National League North side Darlington on loan after signing for Town.

Barton is yet to recruit this summer and is targeting midfield reinforcements, though he stressed recruitment at this level is not easy.

And with three of last summer’s free signings – Chris Long, Ryan Taylor and James Wallace – having already left the club, the head coach says he and his recruitment team will be thoroughly vetting any prospective additions.

Barton said: “There are a lot of players out there, a lot of players who want to play. There are 900-950 who are playing football (in the top four tiers) but even more are not every Saturday.

“For us it is about picking through the minefield of : why aren’t they playing football?

“Are they not playing football because they are injured, demotivated, not getting an opportunity because somebody is better? That is the nature of the beast we are swimming through every day.

“Virtually every day I get 50-60 players put to me. Fifty of them are not worth a carrot and that is the challenge.

“For us we are shopping in the bargain basement, that is the reality of it. It is all very well for Guardiola and Klopp trading in Lamborghinis and Ferraris. We are used car salesmen down here.

“Every player or car that comes in has certain things that are not quite right. We are not getting Formula 1 cars because they cost £100m.

“But even some of the Premier League boys, the likes of Pogba, they pay millions for and still don’t have the complete player, so what chance have we got when we are on free transfers?

“Searching other clubs who are getting relegated or having financial problems and trying to unearth a gem from them or from the non-league scene is tough. This club has had a good period unearthing some players and we must continue to do so.”