Pompey critic Joey Barton in quit vow if he can't lead Bristol Rovers to the Championship

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Pompey critic Joey Barton has vowed to quit Bristol Rovers if he can’t make them ‘a credible Championship team’.

The Gas boss said he’ll likely move on if his two-year vision for the club wasn’t met. And he’d happily swap life as manager of the League One outfit for a coaching role within a team competing at a much higher level – like the Champions League.

Barton, who has been in charge at the Memorial Stadium since February 2021 and guided the club to promotion from League Two in 2022, has three years remaining on his current Rovers deal. He guided his team to a 17th-place finish this season

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The former Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder told BBC Radio Bristol’s ‘Having a Gas’ programme: ‘Sometimes I do say things, I’m a bit bullish, there’s part of me that thinks I will be there.

‘I believe as a football club we will be there (in the Championship). I say two years, and I do think if I can’t build Bristol Rovers as a credible Championship team in two years with the support I’ve had, the fan base and the owner, then I should maybe move on.’

Barton, who is contracted to the club until 2026, added: ‘I think I would seriously consider it.

‘From my perspective, I’ll have been at League One level another two years, it’d have been my fifth season and at some point you think am I going to be able to be what I personally want to be?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Managing in the competitions I was never fortunate enough to be in as a player. Champions Leagues, World Cup’s, European Championship’s etc etc. I wouldn’t have to be the manager, I’d just want to go to those competitions with a team I’ve been part of and built and had a big say in and be in those stadiums and atmospheres.

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton   Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty ImagesBristol Rovers boss Joey Barton   Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

‘You’re watching the Champions League atmospheres the past two nights and you’re going “wow!” How can you not want success?’

This season, Barton had two pops at the Blues following his side’s 3-1 defeat to Pompey back in August.

He took aim at then Fratton Park boss Danny Cowley’s football credentials, before criticising the Blues’ deployment of a 4-4-2 formation.