Wednesday 25 April 2018

James Tarkowski and Joey Barton not awarded medals as Burnley celebrate title

Joey Barton refused to lift the Championship trophy when it was passed around
Joey Barton refused to lift the Championship trophy when it was passed around

Burnley celebrated clinching the Sky Bet Championship title in front of thousands of fans on Monday, but midfielder Joey Barton did not receive a winners' medal because there were not enough to go around.

The Clarets won the division at Charlton on Saturday only to be forced to wait for the trophy following the Football League's controversial move not to present it at any away ground.

Barton had been among those to criticise the governing body's decision and a representative from the Football League was jeered by Burnley supporters who had gathered to see Sean Dyche's squad's promotion party in the east Lancashire town.

However, after 25 members of Burnley's squad had received their medals ahead of the ceremony, the final two - defender James Tarkowski and Barton - were left empty-handed due to the fact there were none remaining.

"Burnley Football Club would like to apologise for the mix-up during the medal ceremony," said a statement on the club's official website.

"The Football League advised the club that 25 medals were to be presented, but the club put forward 27 players.

"We would like apologise to the league for this administrative error. We would like to clarify that all players will receive medals from the Football League."

One-time England cap Barton seemed bemused by the snub and did not lift the trophy when it was passed around, instead finding an inflatable version from the crowd, as the team had done at The Valley two days earlier.

Both Barton and Tarkowski later played down the incident on Twitter, though.

The latter wrote: "It was only banter, as if I'd refuse a Championship winning medal! The ribbon wouldn't fit over my ears so waiting for one with more give!"

Dyche's team arrived for a civic reception in the town hall and having finally been presented with the trophy, they embarked on an open-top bus tour to Turf Moor, a voyage that Barton said he famously would not make if they finished second as they had done two years earlier.

Defender Ben Mee, who won the players' player of the year award on Sunday, expressed his disappointment at having to wait to lift the trophy in front of their supporters.

"It was a shame we couldn't have it on the pitch on Saturday - everybody's had their say on it, it was ridiculous," he said.

"But we saw it (Sunday) night and we got to hold it, so to officially have it is great and to do it in front of the fans was great.

"That's what we were upset about, the fans travelled to Charlton for an early kick-off, it was great support and a real shame we couldn't show them the trophy. I can't understand why because I don't think anyone was going to disrupt that."

Press Association

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