Joey Barton: Bristol Rovers manager apologises for 'holocaust' comment

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton used the term 'holocaust' to refer to his team's defence after 3-1 defeat to Newport last week; Barton said on Thursday: "if anybody was offended by that, I would like to apologise"; he says FA wrote to him regarding the comment

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton during the Papa John's Trophy match at the Memorial Stadium
Image: Joey Barton has apologised for using the term 'holocaust' to describe a poor defensive performance

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton has apologised for his 'holocaust' comment after the side's loss to Newport and said "the use of the analogy was not correct".

After Rovers' 3-1 defeat last Saturday, Barton said about his team's defence: "I said to the lads during the week, the team's almost like musical chairs.

"Someone gets in and does well but then gets suspended or injured.

"Someone gets in for a game, does well but then has a holocaust, a nightmare, an absolute disaster."

Barton was criticised by many among the football community, with some saying he should step down from his role.

In a press conference on Thursday, Barton said: "I'm just going to say there were some comments made after the press conference last week where clearly no offence was meant, but some people have rightly pointed out to me the use of the analogy was not correct.

"The FA wrote to me this week to remind us of our language and communications, and the last thing you want to do is cause offence or upset anybody.

"So if anybody was offended by that, I would like to apologise for that and I think the FA were right to write to me and remind me of that.

"You hope to use better analogies in future, but it was certainly with no malice or offence intended to anybody."

Joey Barton (PA)
Image: Barton said 'if anybody was offended by that, I would like to apologise for that'

Earlier this week, Bristol councillor Fabian Breckels, an associate member of the Jewish Labour Movement, said Barton should consider his future and suggested the club "ought to provide a considered response fairly soon".

When asked if an apology should have been issued sooner, Barton said: "I just think it's a case of my next natural chance to speak to the press.

"I'm forced to speak to you every week after the games, lots of the times when I don't really want to do it, but it's part of the job and part of what you have to do and the responsibilities.

"It's our duty to be word-perfect and not create controversy.

"I do get the world we live in and the people we work with, and some of our acquaintances have to produce content and produce the opportunity to get people's attention by clicks.

"I get that everything we say, even this I'm saying now will no doubt be pieced together in such a way that it will be there to grab and capture the attention of people that use social media, internet, blah, blah, blah.

"My natural next progression in terms of speaking to the media is here, and I felt that was the way to deal with it rather than the club releasing a statement, blah, blah, blah.

"For me, it was a poor analogy to use in the context of the modern-day world we live in, and it won't happen again."

Rovers, who are currently 18th in the League Two table, face Harrogate away on Saturday.

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