The trial of Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton over an alleged assault on former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel has been delayed for a further year due to coronavirus and the football season.
Barton, 37, was due to go on trial on Monday accused of pushing the German manager at Barnsley's Oakwell Stadium in April 2019, leaving him with a damaged tooth. But the case was adjourned due to Covid-19 and rearranged for June 2021 in order to avoid clashing with the football season.
The former England international was excused from attending the hearing atSheffield Crown Court on Monday, where a new provisional trial date was fixed for June 7 2021.
Barristers told the court that holding the trial during the football seasoncould cause difficulties for both Barton and Mr Stendel.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, Recorder of Sheffield, said it was unfortunate to have such an 'enormous' delay but that the new date was 'realistic' as thecase would not be classed as a priority when trials are resumed at the court.
This case, although serious for those involved, is not, on any analysis, to be regarded as a priority case. Accordingly, it will be low in the level of case to be tried.
Barton pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing.