Burnley manager Sean Dyche is relaxed about the Football Association charge hanging over Joey Barton after the possibility of a ban was worked into contract negotiations with the player.
Barton earlier this week rejoined the Clarets on a deal until the end of the season following a brief and ill-fated stint at Rangers, but he has also been charged by the FA with placing an alleged 1,260 bets over a ten-year period.
The midfielder’s hopes of making an impact at Turf Moor received a boost yesterday when the FA granted him more time to prepare his defence against the charge, which could carry a fine and/or suspension.
The 34-year-old was initially given only two weeks to submit his case, with a deadline of 6pm last night, but his legal team made a successful application for an extension and he now has until 31 January.
Dyche hopes the midfielder can lift his squad in the same way he did during last year’s Championship-winning campaign, but is prepared for all eventualities.
Referring to the FA charge, Dyche said: “He’ll deal with that, it’s a separate situation.
“Obviously we’re well aware of it, but that’s personal to him and the powers that be. It’s not about us. We’ve come to a mutual agreement with him and his advisors how that would work if anything happens. It’s something out of our domain. I’m sure he’ll speak to me about it in due course but he actually doesn’t need to. It was before he was part of our club again and before he was registered with us.
“It’s for him and the powers that be to take that forward.”
The Burnley manager enjoyed a positive working relationship with Barton during their previous year together at Turf Moor and was quick to offer him use of the club’s training facilities when his contract at Rangers was terminated in November.
The midfielder only made eight appearances during his disastrous stint at Ibrox, which ended after he fell out with manager Mark Warburton and team-mates following a 5-1 defeat by Celtic.
Dyche is known to value Barton’s experience and off-field contribution but also made it clear that there were no promises about how much playing time the former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR midfielder could expect.
The player is likely to feature in tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round clash at Sunderland, but has been told he must earn any future opportunities.
“There’s no guarantee on how much of a part he plays but he’s in the pack,” said Dyche. “The expectation is just for him to come back in and be a valued part of the squad.
“He came back in because I felt he deserved the respect of coming back in and training with us. He’s showed us he wants to be part of it again.
“We’ll see. It’s a different level of football, he’s got to earn the right to get a game first. He’ll be well aware of that.
“The team is going well enough on its own at the moment but we feel he can be an important part of the squad. We know we need a certain depth to the squad and we still haven’t got the deepest squad by any means. You do need that depth and you need competition within that group.”