Former Portsmouth-linked striker leaves League One promotion rivals for disciplinary reasons

Joey Barton has revealed former Pompey-linked striker Ched Evans has left Fleetwood Town.
Ched Evans has left Fleetwood. Picture: James Chance/Getty ImagesChed Evans has left Fleetwood. Picture: James Chance/Getty Images
Ched Evans has left Fleetwood. Picture: James Chance/Getty Images

Evans has departed the Blues' League One promotion rivals for disciplinary reasons.

The Wales international moved to Fleetwood on loan from Sheffield United in the summer of 2018 before making his switch permanent the following year.

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Pompey were linked with Evans before he rejoined the Cod Army, although The News revealed those reports were wide of the mark. Kenny Jackett instead swooped for John Marquis and Ellis Harrison.

Evans scored seven goals in 23 appearances for Barton's side this season. However, he didn't feature on the bench in Fleetwood's goalless draw at Fratton Park last week or in their 1-1 draw with Wigan on Saturday.

And Barton revealed that the 31-year-old has now departed the Highbury Stadium.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire after the stalemate with the Latics, he said: ‘It would have helped I think if we had had Ched in the group today but he’s no longer with us.

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‘He will leave the building due to his discipline and his behaviour. There’s been multiple infractions. We always try and give a bit of leeway but it just ran its course.

‘I think Ched needs a change of scenery, a different voice. I know, short-term, we will feel that because he’s been an influential player for us before but I just think, for us, everybody has a bus stop where they get off. For multiple reasons, I think it’s one of those periods.

‘I like Ched, I’ve got enormous respect for him, but at some point people keep crossing the line and as the manager there has to be a change of scenery for them.

‘We just got to that point, what that is will stay in our dressing room. It’s nothing major, it’s just a number of infractions.

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‘I’ve got a dressing room in there that I’ve got to look after, we’ve got to keep discipline and teamship as tight as we can and nobody can undermine that. If they do, unfortunately for them, they will leave.

‘I’ll have my critics online. They’ll be saying “another one’s fell out with him and they go” but at the end of the day, just look at where Fleetwood Town were when I took over, look at the decisions I’ve made.

‘Fan favourites have all left us, nobody who has left us has got better so that will continue to be the case.

‘We will continue to get stronger and stronger but, as I say, short-term we have lost a good player in Ched Evans.

‘For us it’s an opportunity for somebody else to step into the breach and try and replace that kind of player.’