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Burnley pre-season friendly abandoned after crowd trouble

Police separate Burnley and Hannover fans at Turf Moor today Credit: PA

Burnley's pre-season friendly at home to Hannover has been abandoned on police advice.

The Clarets were leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a goal from Ben Mee when the announcement came.

A short statement on the club's Twitter account read: "Today's game has been abandoned, on police advice."

Photographs showed unrest in the stands, with police holding back Hannover fans from their home counterparts.

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Joey Barton has betting hearing delayed

Joey Barton could face a lengthy ban Credit: PA

Joey Barton's Football Association hearing into betting charges has been postponed.

The 34-year-old Burnley midfielder was due to appear before an FA commission on Wednesday, having accepted a misconduct charge relating to 1,260 bets over a 10-year period.

It is possible a lengthy ban could ensue - though no direct precedent exists - and the Clarets were prepared for the fact that he could have played his final match for the club with his contract up at the end of the season.

But Press Association Sport understands the hearing was not able to take place as planned and, with no new date yet set, Barton is free to play in Sunday's Premier League match at Liverpool.

Burnley boss Dyche talks up Barton ahead of potential ban for breaching FA betting rules

Joey Barton has earned a glowing commendation from Burnley boss Sean Dyche ahead of what could be his final game for the club.

Barton was a key part of the Clarets' Championship-winning campaign last season and, after a brief and tempestuous spell at Rangers, returned in January to restate his Premier League credentials.

The 34-year-old midfielder has since made 10 appearances, scoring the winning goal against Southampton and putting in a superb shift in the surprise draw with Chelsea.

But Saturday's game against Swansea could be the end of the road, with a Football Association hearing into betting offences due to take place next week.

Barton has accepted a misconduct charge relating to 1,260 bets over a 10-year period and could face a lengthy ban, scuppering his hopes of staying at Turf Moor beyond the summer.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

The former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR player was charged before re-signing with Burnley but Dyche had no qualms about inviting him back, first to train and then as a first-teamer.

"I don't think he had to prove his worth, he had nothing to prove to me," said the manager.

"He might have had something to prove to himself and that is that he can still do it, but he had nothing to prove to me. I've seen what he can and what he's about. I make it clear, under my world at Burnley he's been top drawer.

"I can't talk about other people and other clubs he's dealt with but around here he's been absolutely top drawer.

"As a man, as a player, around the group and his performance, he's been top drawer."

Dyche is phlegmatic about the prospect of Barton being banned, a possibility the club made contractual provisions for and one the manager has not investigated too deeply.

"It was something to do with himself and the FA, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with that," he offered.

"That's for him and his team to take on with the FA and see how it comes out. I don't fear anything, because I don't know what's going to happen.

"As much as we get on really well I don't sit him down and go 'what do you want to do? He's his own man. He'll make his own way."

Burnley v Liverpool - A clash of contrasts

Liverpool head to Turf Moor to take on Burnley this weekend.

The Reds enter the game having agreed a deal to sell Christian Benteke to Crystal Palace for 32 million pounds.

Burnley have been splashing the cash too - but their club record capture of Steven Defour for 7.5 million really emphasises the gulf between them and some of their Premier League rivals.

Chris Hall looks ahead to the game.

PREVIEW: Will it be third time lucky for Burnley in the Premier League?

101 days have passed since Burnley secured their return to the Premier League.

This weekend they'll kick off the new campaign at home to Swansea.

It's the club's third spell in the top flight in the last seven years, the previous two ended in relegation after just one season.

So no prizes for guessing what the target is this time.

David Chisnall reports

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